Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition that was spearheaded by councillor Mike Colle and the mayor of Toronto, John Tory, together with the Bathurst Street initiative, with regard to security concerns.
The tragic and horrific events in Pittsburgh have brought to light the need for enhanced security so that Canadians can worship and children can attend religious schools without fear of violence. The rising cost of security weighs heavily on religious places of worship, given the other normal costs associated with operating a place of worship or religious school. The local police forces are strained and cannot be expected to offer comprehensive security to the hundreds of synagogues and religious schools that exist in Toronto alone.
All Canadians have the right to worship without fear of a violent attack while exercising their right to practice. These residents of the city of Toronto call upon the House of Commons to create a fully funded, robust program that provides funding to offset the growing high cost of providing safety and security at places of worship and religious education institutions.