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Letter sent to local MP, Minister of Justice and leader of the opposition from the board of Elders regarding the changes proposed to section 176 of the Criminal Code.

20 September 2017


Ms. Celina Caesar-Chavannes
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Ms. Caesar-Chavannes

Re: Bill C-51 An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and the Department of Justice Act and to Make Consequential Amendments to Another Act

I have recently learned of the Bill C-51 that is currently before the House of Commons. Included in this act is the removal of Section 176 of the Criminal Code “Obstructing or violence to or arrest of officiating clergyman”. Removal of this section from the Criminal Code will ultimately interfere with the rights of Canadians to worship in a peaceful manner. I see no value to Canadians in removing this section from the Criminal Code, and I see no harm in retaining it.

It is also disappointing that this change to the Criminal Code is not mentioned in the summary of Bill C-51 on the Government of Canada website

I urge you to advocate for the retention of Section 176 in the criminal code; or, if the bill is presented before the House of Commons for vote with Section 176 removed, to vote against the bill on the grounds that Section 176 be retained.

Yours sincerely,
Mark W. Hersey, B.Sc.

Copies to: The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice and Attorney General

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