Mr. Speaker, the first petition which I have the pleasure to table is from people in Prince Edward Island.
The petitioners are calling on the government to return to its previous policy of allowing holy books to be made available to new citizens at citizenship ceremonies around the country. The petitioners note that a citizenship judge terminated this policy, alleging that the policy discriminated against non-religious immigrants.
Until last year, holy books were simply displayed on tables at the back of the hall, free for new citizens to take. The new citizens were not handed the books. The books were not forced on them. The judge produced no evidence to justify his inappropriate decision to ban the availability of holy books.
The petitioners ask that the Citizenship Commission return to the previous policy which has served our multicultural nation very well for so many years.