Sidhu Seconds Bill C-305 that cracks down on hate-based property damage, vandalism & other acts of criminal mischief
OTTAWA—Member of Parliament for Nepean, Chandra Arya, tabled Bill C-305, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (mischief) in September. On November 22, 2016 — the bill was debated for the first time in the House of Commons. Member of Parliament for Brampton South, Sonia Sidhu, stepped up to second the Bill. Sidhu said, “We’re responding to this spike of unacceptable and abhorrent acts we have witnessed. In recent years, we have seen some terrible instances of antisemitic, racist, and anti-Muslim vandalism reported on various religious sites in communities across our country. More needs to be done.”
Under the current law, hate-based mischief against places of worship can result in a sentence of up to 10 years, compared to just two years for general mischief. Bill C-305 proposes to broaden the law’s provisions to include schools, universities, community centres, day cares, sports arenas, seniors’ residences and any other building or structure used for educational, social, cultural or sports-related activities or events. “Hateful graffiti is one example of the kinds of things we need to tackle. This shocking series of events should remind us of the dangers of hate and the need to ensure our laws are effective in protecting at-risk communities,” Sidhu added.
“I am proud of my diverse, multicultural community in Brampton. As our Prime Minister often says — we are not strong in spite of our differences, but because of them. We must do more to come together and stand against hateful acts. I look forward to engaging on this issue with Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast.” As a preliminary step, the Government of Canada yesterday announced measures to reduce hate-motivated crimes in Canadian communities. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has improved the Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program so that communities will have better access to funding from that program. This programme includes a broader list of security enhancements – including interior and exterior measures. Public Safety Canada will open calls for proposals for the funding this Thursday, December 1.
Our government strongly believes that community members should be able to practice their faith, culture, and activities peacefully. Freedom, diversity,and inclusion are at the heart of our way of life and we must protect it. “With this announcement yesterday, it is clear that hate-motivated crimes will not be tolerated in Canada. Our government is working with communities across Canada to improve security by strengthening the assistance we can provide them,” concluded MP Sidhu.