Bill Would Stiffen Penalties For Hate
OTTAWA — A bill that would make it a criminal offence to commit an act of mischief targeting non-religious property associated with an identifiable group was tabled in the House of Commons by Montreal-area Liberal MP Marlene Jennings on Oct. 1.
Bill C-451 would amend Section 430 of the Criminal Code to add the clause that mischief motivated by “bias, prejudice or hate based on religion, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, sex, language or sexual orientation” against schools, community centres or other buildings, or structures on that property, “used exclusively or principally” by one of those groups for educational, recreational, cultural purposes is an offence.
Convictions would carry a penalty of up to 10 years in jail for indictable (more serious) offences, and up to18 months for summary convictions (more minor violations).
“The purpose of the bill is to take action against these crimes and to ensure that all Canadians are protected from such violence,” Jennings said in the House of Commons.
New Cash For Chabad
VANCOUVER — Chabad of B.C. has been given $633,000 in federal stimulus cash. Ottawa gave Chabad the grant on Sept. 30, and the province of British Columbia provided a matching grant. Both hinge on Chabad’s ability to raise $633,000 more. As of Oct. 3, it had raised $300,000, it said last week. The funds will help renovate and expand Chabad facilities, the group said. It received $600,000 in federal and provincial grants in Winnipeg last month to build a 17,000-square-foot centre in the south end of the Manitoba capital.
McGill Talk Disrupted
MONTREAL — Two protesters who disrupted an Oct. 5 anti-abortion lecture at McGill University titled “Echoes of the Holocaust” were fined for mischief. The McGill Tribune quotes one of the protesters, Elise Eisenkraft Klein, as saying, “As a human being, but also as a Jew, I would say that this kind of comparison is not acceptable. By this ridiculous claim of trying to ‘humanize’ fetuses in order to further their cause, they are dehumanizing Jews.” Protesters drowned out Jose Ruba, co-founder of the Calgary-based Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, by singing and went on stage to block graphic videos he tried to show. Police were called after protesters refused security requests to return to their seats and be quiet. They issued summary convictions for mischief to two protesters who stayed in the room after being told to sit down or leave. They were then escorted out. The McGill student group that organized Ruba’s lecture said it would try to reschedule it.
Files Sent to France
OTTAWA — Files from a computer seized from the office of the wife of the man accused in a 1980 Paris synagogue bombing can be sent to French investigators, a judge ruled last week. Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Maranger said the search and seizure of computers from the home and office of Rania Tfaily was “borderline,” but her Charter rights weren’t violated. France wants to have her common-law spouse, Hassan Diab, extradited to face charges in connection with the bombing, which killed four people and injured dozens more. Both computers belong to Carleton University, where Diab, a dual Lebanese and Canadian citizen, used to teach and Tfaily is a professor. The judge will rule this week on whether files from the second computer can be sent to France, the Ottawa Citizen reported. Diab is fighting his extradition, saying he’s a victim of mistaken identity.