Religious language in Criminal Code too narrow: Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould waits to appear before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday October 18, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Adrian Wyld)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, October 18, 2017 6:32PM EDT
OTTAWA - Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says the fact that it is against the law to disrupt a clergyman or minister -- but not an imam or a rabbi -- is one of the reasons she wants to modernize the Criminal Code.
This spring, the Liberal government moved to rid the Criminal Code of sections that are redundant or obsolete.
That includes challenging someone to a duel and fraudulently pretending to practice witchcraft.
One of the changes proposed in Bill C-51 that is facing some criticism would remove a section that makes it a crime to use threat or force to obstruct a clergyman or minister from celebrating a worship service or any other duty related to his job.
The current law also says it is an indictable offence to assault a clergyman on his way to, or returning from, performing those duties.
Wilson-Raybould says these activities are already covered in other sections of the Criminal Code and that the charter protects religious freedoms.