Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Criminal Code – Bill C-384

…Bill C-384 amends the Criminal Code to create a new offence to prohibit hate-motivated acts of mischief against an identifiable group at an educational institution. The term "educational institution" would cover a range of institutions or community places, such as a school, daycare centre, college, university, community centre, playground, sports centre and many others.

There are two fundamentals elements we must take note of. The first is the fight against hate crimes. The second is the protection of places recognized as belonging to identifiable groups. In my opinion, these are two very laudable goals that will benefit all of our communities both on the social and cultural level…

…Section 430(1) of the Criminal Code pertains to the general offence of mischief and prohibits damage to property. Section 430(4.1) covers a subcategory of the offence of mischief: mischief relating to religious property such as churches, mosques and synagogues. But is this enough to protect identifiable groups?

Some might be tempted to believe that hate crimes against educational or cultural institutions are infrequent or are committed by only a handful of individuals in a specific area.

But when we read the headlines, we see that more and more acts of violence are targeting schools and community centres…

…[T]he relevance of my bill is not just based on facts alone. It comes from a specific request from a number of organizations that defend identifiable groups. I am referring in particular to the Canadian Jewish Congress, which has been calling for this change to the Criminal Code for five years.

The need for this change has resulted in widespread support for my bill from groups and agencies from all walks of life. Promoting hatred against people is denying them a certain value as human beings and denying them the respect and dignity they deserve…