TORONTO, ON October 19, 2017 – CCRL president Phil Horgan, and executive director Christian Elia, appeared before the Standing Committee on General Government of the Ontario legislature to speak against the “Bubble Zone” Bill’s overreach and Charter infringement vis a vis freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.
The CCRL’s opposition to Bill 163 focuses on the following:
- The government has failed to identify or address any need for the intrusion and limitation into the constitutional right to freedom of expression
- The bill’s penal sanctions are an intrusion into the federal power over criminal law, and present a lowering of the thresholds typically required to constitute the offence of “harassment” under the Criminal Code
- All parties by their support of the bill are engaging in political suppression of dissenting viewpoints, with the invention of the need for broad areas of “no go” zones, the total effect of which (conceivably, bubble zones around all pharmacies in urban areas), the bill engages in overreach to impose its dubious objectives
This Bill which has the support of the Liberal government and Progressive Conservative opposition will make “performing certain acts of disapproval” illegal within a radius of 50 metres, expandable to 150 metres of abortion clinics, facilities, and even pharmacies.
Peaceful, prayerful gathering outside of abortion clinics will effectively be impossible and sidewalk counselling eliminated completely.
This Bill is being fast-tracked and at Second Reading, only one MPP voted against it, independent Trillium Party member, Jack MacLaren. The Official Opposition, the Progressive Conservatives, under leader Patrick Brown, together with the NDP under Andrea Horvath, strongly support the Liberal government on this Bill, while known prolife PC MPPs were absent during the vote at Second Reading.
Complete copy of the CCRL’s written submission: CCRL Submission on Bill 163 October 19 2017
About the CCRL
Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) (www.ccrl.ca) assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. The CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization with a large nationwide membership base. The CCRL is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.
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