NCCM testifies at parliamentary hearing on Bill C-305

On February 23, 2017, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) testified before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights (JUST) on a private member’s bill, Bill C-305, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code regarding Mischief. Bill C-305 would expand the protection given to communal spaces against vandalism driven by hate and discrimination. Currently, the crime of mischief in the Criminal Code is punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment. However, if that mischief is motivated by “bias, prejudice or hate based on religion, race, colour or national or ethnic origin”, then it becomes punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. Bill C-305 extends these legal protections to more communal places, including daycare centres, seniors’ homes, schools, town halls, and sports arenas, granting them the same protected status as places of religion.

In light of hate crimes and incidents against diverse communities in Canada, and in particular Canadian Muslim community institutions, NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee spoke before the committee outlining why the NCCM supports Bill C-305. Read the NCCM’s submission to the committee.