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Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchetcpac/YouTube

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OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — The Bloc Québécois party is citing growing tensions in Canada as a reason to remove religion as a defense against “hate speech” charges in a newly tabled federal bill.  

On November 28, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet tabled Bill C-367 which aims to eliminate the provisions for religion to be used as a defense against “hate speech” charges, alleging that the change is necessary given the rise in “antisemitic” attacks in Canada since the Israel-Hamas war broke out in early October.   

“We can fear that these acts were encouraged by an exception in the Criminal Code,” Blanchet told the House of Commons.  

The bill would amend “the Criminal Code to eliminate as a defense against wilful promotion of hatred or antisemitism the fact that a person, in good faith, 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.” 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to the bill saying, “We will be looking at my honorable colleague’s bill to see whether it can help combat hate and incitement of violence. This is a complex issue, but we are here to work constructively to protect Canadians.” 

Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews, “I fear this bill is not at all about protecting Jews from violence. I believe its real purpose is to allow Christians to be charged with hate speech in the future, for expressing peaceful Biblical beliefs about homosexuality and transgenderism.” 

“Calls to violence should obviously be prosecuted,” Fonseca explained. “However, hateful speech that does not constitute a call to violence should be countered in a democratic society with good speech that exposes the hate for what it is.” 

“Censoring hateful speech, which doesn’t constitute a call to violence, simply drives it underground and allows it to fester and grow even more aggressively in the shadows,” he continued. “This is another reason why preserving free-speech in Canada is so important, and worth tolerating opinions that we find ugly and offensive. Censorship is not the answer.” 

“This Bloc Quebecois bill is just a Trojan Horse to enable future pogroms against Christians and any religious believer from other faiths who publicly disagree with LGBT ideology,” he warned.  

“Just think about it. The justification provided by the Bloc, which is an atheistic Marxist political party, makes no sense,” Fonseca pointed out. “Police can already charge attackers with attempted murder for shooting up the Jewish school in Quebec, or with some kind of reckless endangerment firearms charge.” 

According to Blanchet, he proposed the modification to the Criminal Code as a result of the increase in antisemitic attacks in Canada, and especially Montreal, following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.  

In recent weeks, Jewish schools in Canada have increasingly become targets for pro-Palestine protestors. On November 12, Montreal’s Yeshiva Gedola school was fired upon for the second time. In early November, both this school and another Jewish school pleaded for help after shots were fired at their buildings after hours.  

Last week, police investigated a bomb threat at Toronto’s Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy. The most recent attack was on November 27 when a Molotov cocktail thrown at the entranceway of the Jewish Community Council of Montreal on Nov. 27. 

Furthermore, the RCMP are currently investigating a speech by Muslim preacher Adil Charkaoui in Montreal.  

“Allah, destroy the Zionists aggressors… Allah, count every one of them, and kill them all, and do not exempt even one of them. Allah, bring upon them a black day,” Charkaoui said during a pro-Palestinian rally on October 28.  

Charkaoui later claimed his speech “did not contain any hate or call to violence,” pointing out that he had not directly said “Jew.”  

However, Fonseca pointed out that, “Under the Criminal Code, police can already charge the man in question with incitement to violence, and with uttering a death threat for saying ‘destroy the Zionist aggressors.'” 

“The latter statement isn’t even a quote from the Quran! Prosecutors do NOT need the religious belief defense removed from Canada’s Criminal Code in order to proceed with criminal charges,” he declared. “It’s subterfuge for a different purpose.” 

“I believe this is why Trudeau has signaled support, in principle, for the Bloc bill,” Fonseca added. “Because Trudeau is looking ahead at how he can use it destroy Christianity and further entrench LGBT ideology.” 

Having just passed its first reading, Bill C-367 must be read twice more in the House of Commons before it can be passed on to the Senate.  

This is not the first time that the Israel-Hamas war has been used to push new legislation. On November 21, Justice Minister Arif Virani said that it is clear legislation is needed to ban certain internet content given the shootings and attacks committed in Canada since the Israel-Hamas war broke out. He failed to provide details regarding what would be censored.     

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