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e-382 (Blasphemous libel)

42nd Parliament
Initiated by Greg Oliver from Toronto, Ontario, on June 22, 2016, at 4:11 p.m. (EDT)
keywords
Criminal Code
Criminal law
Freedom of speech
Profane language
Government Response Tabled

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:
  • It has been eight decades since the last conviction under Section 296, and thirty-five years since the last charge of blasphemous libel was laid;
  • Blasphemous libel serves no purpose in Canadian law or modern-day society, and would likely be found to contravene section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects freedom of expression;
  • In Canada and elsewhere, blasphemy laws have been abused to suppress minorities and stifle inconvenient speech;
  • Authoritarian states point to Canada’s blasphemous libel law to defend their own laws criminalizing blasphemy;
  • Repealing Canada’s blasphemy law would demonstrate, at home and abroad, Canada’s commitment to the value of free speech for all; and
  • Freedom of expression is the foundational human right in our society. Many others, including freedom of assembly and freedom of conscience, are derived from freedom of expression.
We, the undersigned, residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to repeal Section 296 (Blasphemous Libel) of the Canadian Criminal Code.
Willowdale
Liberal
Ontario
Petition presented to the House of Commons on December 9, 2016
Government response tabled on January 30, 2017
Open for signature : June 22, 2016, at 4:11 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature : October 20, 2016, at 4:11 p.m. (EDT)
Province / Territory
Signatures
Alberta
917
British Columbia
1513
Manitoba
243
New Brunswick
127
Newfoundland and Labrador
79
Northwest Territories
10
Nova Scotia
209
Nunavut
3
Ontario
2662
Prince Edward Island
18
Quebec
1284
Saskatchewan
216
Yukon
10
Other Countries
115
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