An Act to amend the Criminal Code (hate propaganda)

This bill was last introduced in the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session, which ended in May 2004.

This bill was previously introduced in the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session.

Sponsor

Svend Robinson  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill.

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Bill C-250Statements By Members

April 22nd, 2004 / 1:55 p.m.
See context

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-250 is currently before the Senate. This bill raises serious concerns about freedom of expression and religion. That is why I and most of my colleagues have voted against it at every opportunity. It is also why I continue to work very hard to try to prevent this bill from passing in the Senate.

There is no question that we reject completely hatred directed at any group, but under Bill C-250, religious leaders and organizations could be committing an offence simply by discussing essential matters of their faith with their congregations. Those who teach children in faith-based schools could also be censored.

The fact is that Bill C-250 does not protect secular professional, educational and academic opinions and speech. I am committed to protecting freedom of speech and freedom of religion, even if these Liberals are not, and I am committed to representing my constituents on issues which are important to them.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 21st, 2004 / 3:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on a related matter, the notwithstanding clause. The petitioners point out that the Ontario Court of Appeal has made a ruling in regard to Bill C-250 on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They also point out that the Constitution has provisions under section 33, a notwithstanding clause, to override the charter.

They therefore petition Parliament to invoke the notwithstanding clause to pass any law so that only two persons of an opposite sex can be married.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 21st, 2004 / 3:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions today, all from my riding of Mississauga South.

The first is referring to matters under Bill C-250. The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that all Canadians are appalled by hate motivated attacks and believe that promoting hatred towards any person or group is wrong.

They also point out that in accordance with religious texts, the petitioners believe that all people are worthy of respect and dignity as human beings, but they also believe that for moral and religious reasons, certain sexual practices are morally unacceptable.

The petitioners therefore call upon Parliament to take all necessary measures to protect the rights of Canadians to freely share their religious and moral beliefs without prosecution.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 19th, 2004 / 3:05 p.m.
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Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have three brief petitions to present today.

The first petition is related to Bill C-250. The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that Canadians are appalled by hate motivated attacks and believe that promoting hatred toward any person is wrong. The petitioners call upon Parliament to take necessary steps to protect the rights of Canadians to freely share their religious and moral beliefs without being in fear of prosecution.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 29th, 2004 / 3:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition relates to Bill C-250.

The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that all Canadians are appalled by hate motivated attacks and believe that promoting hatred toward any person or group is wrong. They also point out that they are concerned about the impact of the proposed amendments to section 318 of the Criminal Code on freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

The petitioners therefore call upon Parliament to take all measures necessary to protect the rights of Canadians to freely share their religious and moral beliefs without fear of prosecution.

Bill C-250Statements By Members

March 22nd, 2004 / 2:10 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Canadian Alliance Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Leader of the Opposition on his historic victory this past weekend. He has proven that he has the support of those within the Conservative Party of Canada. Now it will be his challenge to reach out and secure the support of all Canadians. Many social conservatives have trusted his leadership and hope he will continue to provide alternative social policy.

I would also like to address the current situation regarding Bill C-250. There is a movement in the Senate to delay the passage of this contentious bill. I would urge that other place to fulfill its role and provide real sober thought on this bill.

I ask the government to allow Canadians to have their voices heard on this issue. Many Canadians feel that the bill will seriously infringe upon the rights of freedom of speech and religion. The government should cancel the passage of this bill until after an election, allowing Canadians to consider this issue as they cast their votes.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 26th, 2004 / 10:20 a.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Canadian Alliance Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my second petition calls upon Parliament to express its disapproval of Bill C-250. Obviously that is not of complete relevance to us today as that bill has gone through the Chamber. However on the assumption that our hon. colleagues in the other place pay attention to petitions that are presented here, perhaps they will take note of this petition.

SupplyGovernment Orders

February 24th, 2004 / 12:35 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a person who has invested throughout many years and who knows the market fairly well, I would suggest, I did think that I would like to talk to this. This motion is actually laughable in a way. I will speak to that in a moment.

What really bothers me is that we have found the Liberals in this nation stealing money, virtually, from the taxpayer and handing it out to their buddies and back to the Liberal Party. The country is in chaos over it and the NDP brings up a motion to talk about investing in values in terms of the Canada pension plan: some days I wonder where these guys come from. I guess that is why we threw them out in British Columbia and do not want them back. That kind of philosophy pervades their investment strategy as well as their management style. That is one of the things that gets them into trouble every time they get into government for a very short period.

I do want to talk about this motion. I have to read it for those people who are listening because it really is hard to believe that somebody would present this in the House of Commons.

It states that the NDP wants the House to have the Canada pension plan, and I quote:

...guided by...investment policies which would ensure that...[the] investments are socially responsible and do not support companies or enterprises that manufacture or trade in military arms and weapons, have records of poor labour practices, contribute to environmental degradation, or whose conduct, practices or activities are similarly contrary to Canadian values.

Has anyone in their life ever heard such convoluted logic in regard to an investment? I do not think I have ever heard it before and I have been investing, as I said, for years. I will give some examples of this.

Some time ago, I invested in a company that makes cigarettes. Somebody tried to talk me out of investing in that company just because of a moral value, as these folks are. I actually waffled on investing in that one. I do not know how many thousands I lost on it, but this company had done very well in the market; those people who buy cigarettes, smoke cigarettes. The company had made a great deal of money. Those people who invested in that company did well, and better luck to them.

There are other companies I have invested in and I have done reasonably well. They are companies that have had strikes. The NDP would not invest in companies like that. It wants social values entwined into the mix of economic values when investing in the marketplace.

For instance, for a company whose CEO believes in the traditional definition of marriage, the NDP members would probably see that as coming under “contrary to Canadian values” in their minds if they were to form a government. Could we imagine such a financial decision on the Canada pension plan, on which all of our seniors depend for growth, being made by somebody who said to never invest in that company because the CEO believes in the traditional definition of marriage? Or, heaven forbid, for a company whose CEO is pro-life, it is not within the certain mix that they would consider a social value they like as a government. They would not go with that either. It goes on and on.

This is the party that brought in Bill C-250, if members will recall, that basically was going to outlaw the Bible as a document of valueless means, in its members' minds. With regard to a company run by a Christian or a very successful company that was run on Christian values, would they say no, they could not invest in it because that would be contrary to their “Canadian values”, as they would see them? We cannot mix those kinds of things in this package of investments. The thought process that goes on with the NDP is really something to listen to.

The fact is that the Canada pension plan is the basis upon which people work in this country and retire to at the end of their days. The investment people who are managing the portfolio have to be able to look at companies as to how best they can earn income, make profit and supply that portion of profit to the value that they invest in the plan itself. They cannot look at the values of a particular political party or the labour practices of a company. In whose value is the labour practice perpetrated? A company that is non-union? Is that a bad labour practice in the NDP's mind? Would we not invest--

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 19th, 2004 / 10:10 a.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have other petitioners who are concerned about the former Bill C-250 which is still making its way through Parliament. They are concerned about their freedom to express their religious opinions without fear of prosecution or persecution.

Business of the House

February 2nd, 2004 / 4:50 p.m.
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The Speaker

May I remind hon. members that a time limit is placed on the consideration of private members’ bills. Indeed, pursuant to Standing Order 97.1, committees will be required to report on these reinstated private members’ public bills within 60 sitting days of this statement.

At prorogation, five private members' bills originating in the House of Commons had been read the third time and passed. Therefore, pursuant to Standing Order 86.1, the following bills are deemed adopted at all stages and passed by the House: Bill C-212, an act respecting user fees; Bill C-249, an act to amend the Competition Act; Bill C-250, an act to amend the Criminal Code (hate propaganda); Bill C-260, an act to amend the Hazardous Products Act (fire-safe cigarettes); and Bill C-300, an act to change the names of certain electoral districts.

(Bills deemed adopted at all stages and passed by the House)

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 7th, 2003 / 12:10 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Canadian Alliance Athabasca, AB

Madam Speaker, I have three petitions to present today.

The first petition is from the community of High Prairie in my riding of Athabasca and two from the community of Fort McMurray. All three petitions concern the same subject.

The petitioners are urging Parliament to take action to protect the charter right of religious freedom for Canadians in the issue of Bill C-250.

The petitioners are pleading with Parliament to take some action, not only to protect gays and lesbians under the bill, but to also protect the religious freedom of Canadians.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 28th, 2003 / 10:05 a.m.
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Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present, all of which are signed by a number of Canadians, including citizens from my own riding of Mississauga South.

The first petition has to do with Bill C-250. The petitioners want to draw to the attention of the House the fact that it is one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation brought before the House and it must not be passed into law because it would threaten all those who oppose special rights for homosexuals, including same sex marriages, with prosecution on the basis of alleged hate.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2003 / 12:10 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Canadian Alliance Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the third petition is one that has been circulated quite widely in my own constituency. It draws the attention of the House to the fact that Bill C-250 has the effect of placing dangerous restrictions upon freedom of expression in religion. I note, of course, that Bill C-250 is no longer before this chamber. It is, however, before the Senate and I am sure that members of that chamber will want to take note of the fact that this petition has been submitted.

Heritage Lighthouse Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

October 22nd, 2003 / 6:50 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Jim Abbott Canadian Alliance Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, when raising the point of order just a few minutes ago, I said that I am in favour of the passage of the bill. I am making that recommendation to the members of my party.

The bill is something that is necessary. Certainly in taking a look at Canada's heritage structures, excellent work has been done by many museums with respect to the structures. One example is the great Canadian Museum of Rail Travel in Cranbrook. The amount of volunteer work that has occurred there has been exemplary. We have to be very conscious in Canada of ensuring that we maintain our heritage and structures so that we can go back and physically touch them and certainly see them.

My concern is not about the bill itself. I have had an opportunity to review the clauses in the bill. I am certainly not a legislative expert but it seems to me it would not require a tremendous amount of amendment in order for it to be a very good bill. The issue of people being able to consult, get information back and have input is a very transparent process, and one which the public at large could buy into.

My concern is on two levels with respect to the fact that the bill has come to us from the Senate. The first one which I have just explained is that this is a Senate bill and one which in my judgment, and I will leave it to your wisdom to decide, Mr. Speaker, will require the expenditure of public funds. Therefore, it is very likely outside the ability of the Senate to propose, particularly as a private member's bill. And this is a private member's bill.

This is very important. It is not just a whole bunch of detail. It is not arcane. It is not unnecessary. It is indeed vital that we make sure that we maintain the relationship between this House and the other place. This House has the legitimacy that all its members were elected in a free and democratic vote. It is our responsibility as members of the House to come here and to represent our constituents and to make good legislation in the best interests of Canadians.

If we do not make legislation in the best interests of Canadians, then we deserve to be defeated. If we do not speak up for our constituents or watch what the government is doing with respect to its expenditures, again the people of Canada have the ability to hold us accountable. That is the essence of democracy and I am very pleased to be part of that democratic process. Therefore, the House of Commons must remain supreme in the process, which leads me to the second point.

The difficulty that we have is over a number of years, and particularly most recently as we have been going through a process of trying to update the ability, to advance the ability, to refine the ability of private members to bring matters before the House for the consideration of the whole House, we have been going through in some ways has been very much a learning process.

Bill C-250 is a classic example of an item that was brought forward by the member for Burnaby—Douglas and which the House became gripped with. It was an issue of a tremendous amount of interest to people in Canada. It was an item on which we as members of Parliament were, and should have been, held accountable for our position because it made some very substantial changes. Interestingly it was not a bill that was in the cross hairs or in the focus of the government, in spite of the fact that at the end of the day the government ended up voting in favour of the bill. All members ended up voting in favour of the bill.

The ability of a member of this duly elected, representative place to bring forward a bill or motion is a very vital part of how we function as a democracy in Canada.

Therefore, with respect to Bill S-7, the other place has a different way for senators to bring forward private members' bills. As I understand it, from advice that I have received from the Table of this House, once the bill has gone through the Senate process, it basically has the ability to then advance that bill to this place. It then goes into the same order of bills as ours do, as private members' bills. It goes to the bottom of the order of precedence and works it way up through the order of precedence.

In a way, somebody might choose to argue, that means it is treated in exactly the same way, but the fact is that it starts in the other place and goes through a totally different process and, in fact, because of the practices of the other place, this gives more freedom for those members of the other place to get their bills through, to have them advanced. I submit that it in fact ends up interfering with the ability of the members of this place to be able to carry out their duties and responsibilities to their constituents and to the causes about which they are talking.

Therefore, as I said, I stand in favour of the bill. I speak in favour of the bill. I think it essential that we continue to focus more energy on our history. Certainly, as my colleague from the Conservatives said, lighthouses form a part of the story of who we are as Canadians and of what our great nation stands for. Therefore, to have a bill that is a responsible bill, a bill that enables us to protect those properties, is essential.

In summary, the reason why I raise my point of order is this. I want to see that as we take care of those places and as we invariably incur costs on them, they come under the proper scrutiny of the Government of Canada, and that we do not end up in some way getting past the whole concept of getting royal approval for the expenditure of funds, that we do not suddenly find ourselves locked into a box.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to your ruling on this matter and I certainly will continue to encourage my colleagues in my party to vote in favour of the bill.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 10th, 2003 / 12:10 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Canadian Alliance Lanark—Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition to the House today, one that is signed by several hundred members of my constituency. The petitioners call upon the House to respect freedom of expression and freedom of religion by voting against Bill C-250. The bill has passed through the House now but it has not passed through the Senate, and perhaps our friends in the other place will take note of this petition.