Thaddeus Baklinski

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Federal minister: bill mandating gay clubs in Manitoba schools is ‘unconstitutional’

Thaddeus Baklinski
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OTTAWA, March 11, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Manitoba NDP government's proposed anti-bullying law, Bill 18, which would force all schools in the province to accommodate homosexual student clubs, is “unconstitutional,” according to Honourable Vic Toews, Regional Minister for Manitoba and Member of Parliament for Provencher.

Toews also serves as the federal Minister of Public Safety.

"Recently there has been a significant amount of discussion surrounding Provincial Bill 18 and its implications for education and religious freedom," Toews said in a statement sent to LifeSiteNews. 

"While this is exclusively a provincial matter and therefore I cannot take any legislative or other official action in respect to provincial legislation, I certainly do not support Bill 18." 

Toews is the federal representative for the city of Steinbach, where more than 1,200 people gathered at Steinbach Christian High School recently to express their concerns over the provisions in the bill that would force homosexual student clubs on all schools, including independent religious schools, under the guise of reducing bullying. 

Supporters of religious schools contend that Bill 18 is a violation of their religious freedom.

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Toews said that he believes Bill 18 violates Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

"In particular," Toews said, "the application of some of its provisions involve an unconstitutional infringement upon the freedom of religion."

Toews compared Bill 18 to section 13 of the federal Canadian Human Rights Act, the “hate speech” section that the Conservative federal government is in the process of repealing because it has been used to curtail free speech by including religious communications.

"The private member's bill to repeal section 13 of the federal Act is presently before the Senate and our government hopes to see it move towards a successful conclusion shortly," Toews said. 

"If the provincial legislature does not amend Bill 18 to address concerns of faith-based organizations, schools and communities," Toews concluded, "the only remedy may be an application to the courts to decide if the legislation is compliant with Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms." 

Contact:

Vic Toews
Member of Parliament for Provencher
8-227 Main Street
Steinbach, MB  R5G 1Y7
Phone:(204) 326-9889
Toll Free: 1 866 333 1933
Fax: (204) 346-9874
Email: [email protected]

Nancy Allen, Manitoba Minister of Education
168 Legislative Building, 450 Broadway
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
Phone: 204-945-3720
Fax: 204-945-1291
Email: [email protected]

Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba
204 Legislative Building, 450 Broadway
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
Phone: 204-945-3714
Fax: 204-949-1484
Email: [email protected]

Brian Pallister, Leader of the Official Opposition
172 Legislative Building, 450 Broadway
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
Phone: 204-945-3593
Fax: 204-945-1299
Email: [email protected] 

Kelvin Goertzen, MLA Steinbach, Education Critic
227 Legislative Building, 450 Broadway
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
Phone: 204-945-0231
Fax: 204-948-2092
Email: [email protected]



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