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Legislation

Don’t relegate religion to secondary tier of protection, say faith groups

By André Schutten      
Conservative MP David Anderson, Conservative critic for human rights and religious freedom, has been calling for faith leaders to ‘defend the rights’ afforded them by Section 176 of the Criminal Code. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
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Earlier this year, the justice minister introduced Bill C-51 to clean up the Criminal Code. Included in the bill was a clause that removes section 176, the special criminal-law protections for religious worship services.  This move has caused great concern among a broad swath of religious leaders across the country. An open letter was delivered to the justice minister last week, signed by 66 Canadian faith leaders from the Sikh, Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Buddhist traditions. What follows is the text of the letter. A

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