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.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

June 6th, 2003 / 1:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Derek Lee Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

moved:

That Bill C-250 be amended by adding after line 9 on page 1 the following new clause:

“2. (1) Paragraph 319(3)(b) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;”

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

June 6th, 2003 / 1:45 p.m.
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The Deputy Speaker

There are three motions in amendment standing on the Notice Paper for the report stage of Bill C-250. Motions Nos. 1 to 3 will be grouped for debate and voted upon according to the voting pattern available at the Table.

I will now propose Motions Nos. 1 through 3 to the House.

Points of OrderGovernment Orders

June 6th, 2003 / 1:45 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

If the Chair chooses to cut me off, Mr. Speaker, I cannot stop that, but I do think that my constituents are entitled to be heard in the House. There was a ruling by the clerk's office, there has not been a Speaker's ruling, and I will speak until you cut me off and I will stay to the point.

Once the amendment to paragraph 319(3)(b) is in order then it follows that the remainder of those amendments that I also brought forward are in order from a procedural and scope point of view. Why can one amendment to paragraph 319(3)(b) be considered proper within the scope when the remaining paragraphs cannot? There is no justifiable reason. I direct the Chair's attention to those particular sections.

Why can that distinction be made in respect of the member for Scarborough—Rouge River so as to include them and to exclude all four amendments that deal with a significant issue? Even if some of the other paragraphs were not in order, my proposed paragraph (b) is in order and the Chair has the power to include that paragraph on its own. There is no appropriate distinction to exclude paragraphs (a), (c), or (d) of my proposed amendment.

As recognized by the Clerk's office in accepting amendments 319 and 320, all of sections 318, 319 and 320 would be affected substantively by Bill C-250. The definition of “identifiable group” impacts on the interpretation of all three sections. My proposed amendments that have been accepted seek to amend 319 and 320, and they have been ruled in order. The proposed--

Points of OrderGovernment Orders

June 6th, 2003 / 1:35 p.m.
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Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There is a problem. We are here for private members' business and you are the guardian of our privileges. We have one hour for a private member's bill. Our colleague can be for or against, We all want to discuss amendments, but here we have a strategy to prevent debate and prevent us from hearing the amendments.

I would like to see you exercise some vigilance over our prerogatives. At this point in the day, we are supposed to be discussing private members' business. We want to hear the amendments. We want to discuss their substance, and I believe that process needs to be begun, in accordance with the schedule for our day.

I submit that our rights have been violated in that we cannot get on with what we are supposed to be doing at this point in the day, which is examining Bill C-250 and its amendments.

Points of OrderGovernment Orders

June 6th, 2003 / 1:30 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order with respect to Bill C-250.

Over the course of the past several months my office, and I think every member of Parliament's office, has been flooded with mail from Canadians who are quite concerned about Bill C-250, which will have negative consequences on their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

I brought forward a number of amendments to the bill in order to address those concerns. Unfortunately, because the member who sponsored this bill chose to filibuster in committee rather than consider the substantive issues, we were unable to address those issues at committee.

Unfortunately some of the amendments that I have brought forward, indeed some of the more significant ones, have been ruled out of order by the clerk's office and I simply cannot understand the rationale for the clerk's decision.

Bill C-250 deals with an amendment to section 318(4) of the Criminal Code, the definition of “identifiable group”. It reads:

In this section, “identifiable group” means any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion or ethnic origin.

Because of the application of that definition to not only section 318, but sections 319 and 320, all of these three sections are impacted. This is not simply a consideration of section 318.

If we go to section 319, for example, subsection (7) states “'identifiable group' has the same meaning as in section 318”.

The terms and the ideas used throughout those three clause are very closely interrelated. They could have simply put all of them in one clause and had separate categories. This in itself is a code. It is one code, sections 318, 319 and 320, because of the way it has been drafted.

As I understand it, these amendments came out of consideration and concern by the United Nations after the second world war and the genocide that was--

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 6th, 2003 / 12:15 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Canadian Alliance Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured today to introduce a very timely petition on the subject of Bill C-250, which is an issue that will be debated this afternoon in the House of Commons.

The petition draws the attention of hon. members to the concern of the petitioners that this bill would represent an assault on freedom of speech and freedom of religion. They worry that their capacity to worship freely and to freely express their religious views would be limited by this bill.

The petitioners, therefore, encourage Parliament to protect freedom of religion by voting down this bill.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 4th, 2003 / 3:50 p.m.
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Liberal

John Bryden Liberal Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, ON

Madam Speaker, the second petition asks the government to not do anything to change sections 318 and 319 of the Criminal Code which would introduce homosexual as part of the definition of hate crime. I believe that arises from Bill C-250 that is before the House. The petitioners are very concerned about that legislation.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 29th, 2003 / 10:35 a.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Canadian Alliance Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I am very pleased to present a number of petitioners from northern Saskatchewan and into Manitoba. The point of the petition is simply that under Bill C-250, the petitioners feel the rights of certain categories of people could be suppressed while elevating the rights of others. They pray that Parliament does not pass Bill C-250 into law.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 26th, 2003 / 3:05 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Canadian Alliance Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

The second petition, Mr. Speaker, is from a portion of Saskatchewan whose the petitioners are asking the Government of Canada not to pass the private member's bill, Bill C-250.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 16th, 2003 / 12:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Charles Hubbard Liberal Miramichi, NB

Madam Speaker, the second petition is from a group that is very much opposed to Bill C-250. They petition the House that the bill not be passed.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 14th, 2003 / 3:20 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Canadian Alliance Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the residents of Surrey Central to present two petitions.

First, the petitioners are concerned that Bill C-250 seeks to censor many religious books, including the bible, and criminalizes the personal opinions of Canadians on the subject of sexual orientation.

The petitioners therefore appeal to Parliament to reject the bill.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 14th, 2003 / 3:15 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Canadian Alliance Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the next three petitions deal with Bill C-250. One of the petitions is from the residents of Tofino, Ucluelet and Port Alberni, communities on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The other two petitions are from the east coast. These petitioners represent people from all parts of my constituency.

The petitioners contend that Bill C-250 will have negative consequences for the rights of Canadians for freedom of expression and religion.

The petitioners further state that Bill C-250 will substantially interfere with the rights of religious and educational leaders to communicate essential matters of faith. They therefore call upon members to defeat Bill C-250.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 14th, 2003 / 3:15 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the other petition, the proposed Bill C-250, which is being introduced in Parliament, will add sexual orientation to the list of identifiable groups in the hate propaganda.

Therefore the petitioners call upon Parliament to refrain from including sexual orientation as an amendment to the hate propaganda section of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Canadian Alliance for Social Justice and Family Values AssociationStatements By Members

May 13th, 2003 / 2 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Madam Speaker, today I would like to recognize the Canadian Alliance for Social Justice and Family Values Association based in Vancouver for the work that it has done in support of Canadian families and social justice.

Yesterday, on its behalf, I tabled in Parliament over 12,000 petitions, half of them expressing support of the traditional definition of marriage. The other 6,000 petitions expressed opposition to Bill C-250, a bill that raises significant concerns over the ability of religious leaders and institutions to communicate and adhere to essential matters of faith.

The organization is a non-denominational, non-partisan grassroots association. Its principal purposes are to redress social injustice, to advocate and protect constitutional charter and social rights, traditional family values and parental rights. Canadians across the country are grateful for its efforts.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 13th, 2003 / 10:15 a.m.
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Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition signed by a number of my constituents. The petitioners are asking Parliament to refuse to pass Bill C-250 or any similar bill that would repress freedom of religion or speech. They are also asking us to defend the historical legal definition of marriage and to override any court decision that infringes upon the freedoms of religion.