The letter can be read below:
July 14, 2017
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
Dear Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould,
As a Canadian citizen, I am writing to express my concern over a recent bill that the Government of Canada has introduced into the House of Commons, Bill C-51. I have an expressed concern with Clause 14 in the proposal to remove Section 176 from the Criminal Code.
Clause 14 of the new Bill proposes to remove the following section of the Criminal Code:
176 (1) Every one who
(a) by threats or force, unlawfully obstructs or prevents or endeavours to obstruct or prevent a clergyman or minister from celebrating divine service or performing any other function in connection with his calling, or
(b) knowing that a clergyman or minister is about to perform, is on his way to perform or is returning from the performance of any of the duties or functions mentioned in paragraph (a) (i) assaults or offers any violence to him, or (ii) arrests him on a civil process, or undYour er the pretence of executing a civil process, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
(2) Every one who wilfully disturbs or interrupts an assemblage of persons met for religious worship or for a moral, social or benevolent purpose is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
(3) Every one who, at or near a meeting referred to in subsection (2), wilfully does anything that disturbs the order or solemnity of the meeting is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
From the words expressed from our local MP, “By repealing this section, the Government will be removing the only provision in the Criminal Code that directly protects the rights of individuals to freely practice their religion, whatever that religion may be. In a time where news stories are increasingly reporting attacks on religious communities in Canada, this proposal greatly concerns me. We must stand up for the rights of all Canadians to practice their religion without fear of recrimination, violence, or disturbance.” I stand in agreement and affirm the need to keep Section 176 in the Criminal Code.
Thank you for your review in the concern to this matter.