OTTAWA, May 27, 2003 ( – In what is seen as a shocking development, the House of Commons Justice Committee voted today to send homosexual activist MP Svend Robinson’s private members Bill C-250 back to the House of Commons for Third Reading without amendment.  Liberal members of the Committee, along with Progressive Conservative Peter MacKay, voted to send the bill to the House of Commons without voting on a Canadian Alliance motion that sought to address concerns over its affect on freedom of expression and religion.“While the Canadian Alliance rejects hatred directed at any group in Canada, it has consistently expressed concern about Bill C-250 on the basis that it raises serious concerns for freedom of expression and religion in Canada,” said Alliance Justice Critic Vic Toews.  Criticizing his fellow Committee members who voted strictly along party lines in supporting C-250, Toews said, “In so doing they have allowed the bill to continue on its path to becoming the law in our country without including the necessary safeguards
for religious expression.”

On May 14th, Toews had tabled a motion to recommend that the Minister of Justice examine concerns raised by thousands of Canadians who had petitioned Parliament on this matter. Despite the efforts of the Canadian Alliance to respond to those concerns through its Committee motion, the Liberal Chair of the Committee, Andy Scott, ruled that the Canadian Alliance motion should not be debated or voted on.  The Liberal members, who constitute a majority of the committee, voted to sustain the Chair’s ruling, effectively voting to pass the bill through committee.

The Canada Family Action Coalition (CFAC) said they were appalled by the actions of the committee which ignored the pleading of tens of thousands of Canadians concerned with the legislation.  Brian Rushfeldt, CFAC Executive Director said: “Those who voted to support this bill have demonstrated an absolute disregard for democracy.  Our organization alone has received and forwarded over 60,000 letters calling for the defeat of this bill, and we know of thousands of other Canadians that have also voiced their

Roy Beyer, CFAC President, pointed out “the practical reality of ‘human rights tribunals’ and certain court rulings to date is to interpret the expression of opinion that homosexuality is immoral or wrong as ‘hateful’. In a world of judicial activism coming from the courts, it’s just a matter of time until the upholding or expressing of an opinion or belief that homosexuality is wrong, immoral or unhealthy will be considered hateful and thus a crime.”“Parliament now will be held responsible as a whole for whether this dangerous legislation is ever passed into law,” says Beyer.  ” I believe Canadian dissatisfaction will surface on this issue and there will be a backlash over a law that restricts freedom of speech and freedom of religion and conscience.  This Private Member Bill should have been defeated before it ever got to this stage.”

The vote breakdown and contact emails for Committee Members follows: Agreed to pass C-250
Peter MacKay (PC) [email protected]
Larry Bagnell (Lib)  [email protected]
John Maloney (Lib)  [email protected]
Marlene Jennings (Lib) [email protected]
Derek Lee (Lib)  [email protected]
Paul Macklin (Lib) [email protected]
Hedy Fry (Lib)  [email protected]
Lorne Nystrom (NDP)  [email protected]
Richard Marceau (BQ)  [email protected]
Real Menard (BQ) [email protected]

Abstained from vote
John McKay (Lib) [email protected]
Joe Peschisolido (Lib) [email protected]

Voted against C-250
Vic Toews (Canadian Alliance)  [email protected]
Kevin Sorenson (Canadian Alliance) [email protected]
Garry Breitkreuz (Canadian Alliance) [email protected]
Chuck Cadman (Canadian Alliance) [email protected]

Pro-family groups are urging Canadians to contact every member of Parliament urging them to oppose C-250

For MP Ottawa telephone and fax numbers see: