Open Letter to the SCCH about Motion-103

Posted November 6, 2017 7:29 pm by Editor

Open Letter to the SCCH about Motion-103
(Photo courtesy of the Toronto Sun)

Dear Standing Committee Members,

We are writing to express our concern as you consider making recommendations about Motion-103 passed by the House of Commons on March 23, 2017. Your task is to find ways to condemn Islamophobia and all systemic racism and religious discrimination. In addition, you have been asked to suggest methods in which hate crime information against religious communities can be documented as well as assess the needs of those communities.
Canadian law already protects all citizens from discriminatory acts, racism, or violence based on faith. The Criminal Code makes such acts against Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs and all other religions a crime. Violence and discrimination are to be rejected at all times and no civilized society should tolerate them. However, Canadians already support this. So, there is no need to have special added policies or legislative protection for Muslims, and not for people of other faiths.
No reasonable person in Canada supports discriminatory acts, racism or violence against others because of their faith. This is true for Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Christians or other belief. Such acts are despicable and completely unacceptable in a caring society. This is the reason why the Criminal Code has provision to prohibit such acts.
The government of Canada must believe that the nation needs Motion M-103. It doesn’t. The Motion is politically driven; it’s abstract and not defined. The Motion doesn’t actually state what is Islamophobia. In Canada, there are more hate crimes against the Jewish community than those that are anti-Islamic. We need to work at eliminating all hate crimes. So, all faiths should be protected not just Islam.

The Conservative opposition party tried to have Motion-103 changed so that Islamophobia could be defined and it would also include other major religious groups such as Christian, Jewish and Sikh along with Islam. However, the amendment was rejected by the Liberal majority. It’s not wise and forward looking for the government to seek support of Muslims at the expense of other faith communities. This is divisive; the government should not take sides; all believing Canadians deserve to be treated justly and equally.

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage should proceed with caution. They should not make any recommendations that will weaken the Charter of rights for the majority of Canadians and undermine freedom of speech.

We urge all members of the Standing Committee not to make suggestions that will help establish new legislation to weaken democratic values and freedom of speech in Canada. This will have terrible consequences for the future of Canada’s values.

Message to Our Readers:

Canadians may contact the members of the Standing Committee and tell them their concerns about Motion-103 before it’s too late. Here are the contact emails:

Standing Committee Members 

Hon. Hedy Fry hedy.fry@parl.gc.ca;
Peter Van Loan peter.vanloan@parl.gc.ca;
Pierre Nantel Pierre.Nantel@parl.gc.ca;
Pierre Breton Pierre.Breton@parl.gc.ca;
Sean Casey Sean.Casey@parl.gc.ca;
Julie Dabrusin Julie.Dabrusin@parl.gc.ca;
Anju Dhillon Anju.Dhillon@parl.gc.ca;
Julie Dzerowicz Julie.Dzerowicz@parl.gc.ca;
Robert Kitchen Robert.Kitchen@parl.gc.ca;
Stéphane Lauzon Stephane.Lauzon@parl.gc.ca;
Marin Shields Martin.Shields@parl.gc.ca;
Dan Vandal Dan.Vandal@parl.gc.ca;
Arif Virani Arif.Virani@parl.gc.ca;

Canadians may also mail a letter:

The Clerk
Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage
Sixth Floor, 131 Queen Street
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

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