moved for leave to introduce Bill C-257, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting against discrimination based on political belief).
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Haldimand—Norfolk for her collaboration and assistance on this important project.
I am tabling a bill that would expand human rights protection in Canada by making political belief and activity prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act. Canadians must be free to express and act on their political beliefs within the law and with the protection of law. They should not face intimidation or discrimination while doing so by either governments or private employers. This freedom is essential for strong democracy within a robust and independent civil society.
This bill would align federal human rights codes with the human rights codes in most provinces. Currently, in federal jurisdiction it is legal for someone to face threats to their employment or access to services because of their political beliefs or activity. This allows governments and large corporations to coerce workers and other Canadians into limiting or changing their political behaviour.
The Canadian Human Rights Act already contains an exception for a bona fide occupational qualification. Let us protect freedom of speech, the rights of workers and the health of our democracy by passing this important human rights legislation as soon as possible.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)