The following letter regarding Section 319 3b of the Criminal Code of Canada was mailed to The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, The Hon. Bardish Chagger also received a copy.
January 17, 2019
The Hon. David Lametti
Minister of Justice
Attorney General of Canada
Re: Current concerns of secular humanists in Canada
Dear Minister Lametti:
Congratulations on your recent appointment as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Thank you for taking on these responsibilities on behalf of Canadians.
As I mentioned during our recent meeting at the Waterloo Liberal Association gathering, Secular Connexion Séculière (SCS) is a secular humanist organization that lobbies on behalf of secular humanists in Canada. As you may be aware, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) regularly identifies Canada as a country that discriminates systemically against non-believers.
Among our current concerns, is Section 319 3b of the Criminal Code of Canada (CCOC). While Section 319 2 specifically says that uttering hate speech or publishing hate literature are offences punishable under the CCOC, Section 319 3b exempts anyone who quotes religious literature in support of hate speech or literature from prosecution.
This allows, for example, hate literature against Jews because of passages in the Gospels that say Jews chose Jesus for execution.
Similarly, those who deliver hate speeches or publish hate literature against atheists are exempt from Section 319 2 because of negative references in The Bible and in the Qur’an.
We feel that the time has come to expunge such permission for hate speech and literature from the Criminal Code of Canada.
I would like to meet with you, at your convenience, to discuss this matter and other examples of systemic discrimination that concern our secular humanist community.
Doug Thomas, President
Secular Connexion Séculière
cc. Hon. Bardish Chagger, Government House leader, MP Waterloo