Federal Government

2024 Campaigns

Section 319 3b – Criminal Code of Canada

SCS continues to lobby for the removal of Section 319 3b of the Criminal Code of Canada.
(3) No person shall be convicted of [uttering hate speech or publishing hate literature]
(b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;
This section allows religious people to utter hate speech and publish hate literature as long as thy cite religious texts, e.g. a papal bull, or an article by a religious leader. Fundamentalist Christians can write anti-semitic tracts with impunity because they can cite the Gospels as evidence to justify their hatred of Jews.

In November 2023, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet tabled private member’s Bill C-367, which would amend the Criminal Code to remove the “good faith” religious defence in the section on hate speech. Some social media users have latched on to this bill, saying that Canada is considering making it illegal to pray in public or read aloud from the bible. This is false. The bill in question is a private member’s bill that is very unlikely to ever become law and an expert on hate speech says even if it did receive royal assent, simply praying in public or reading aloud from the bible would not become illegal.

SCS supports C-367 and is encouraging the federal government to pass this legislation.
O Canada

Every day, in schools across Canada, students’ fundamental right to freedom from religion is denied when the official, theist lyrics of O Canada are played on the P.A. System. They can be further confronted when teachers ask students to memorize those official, theist lyrics as an assignment.
SCS is asking school officials to implement a policy to play instrumental versions only over the P.A. system, and that students be allowed to memorize the following non-theist lyrics to fulfill the assignment requirements.
NOTE: SCS is not promoting the singing of O Canada, but defends the fundamental right of all Canadians to freedom from religion, particularly in public places. That said, the National Anthems Act of 1980 is an example of systemic discrimination against non-believers in Canada.

O Canada, our home and cherished land,
True patriot love in all of us command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
We’ll keep our land, glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, terre pour nos enfants
Ton front est cient de fleurons élégants
Car ton bras sait porté l’épée
Et tu support nos choix.
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur, d’espoir trempé.
Protégéra nos foyers et nos droits.
Protégéra nos foyers et nos droits.