We did it!
Well, technically the Senate voted not to insist on amendments it had put to the House of Commons after MPs voted yesterday to reject those amendments. But that’s the parliamentary wrangling you can read on Hansard.
— Senate of Canada (@SenateCA) December 11, 2018
The point is, it’s now simply a matter of our astronaut-turned-Governor General and general pro-science badass Julie Payette signing the bill and Canada joins growing number of countries to repeal its blasphemy law.
This comes about after freethought, atheist and Humanist groups across Canada came together and supported a collective effort to change the law. It’s a real testament to the importance of getting involved in one of these groups (many of which are registered charities, which means you can get a 2018 tax receipt if you donate before December 31). The BC Humanist Association consistent work on this issue (from promoting the petition to analyzing the government’s bill to submitting briefs) was only possible because of the individual members and donors who support our work.
That said, we were also lucky to have a government that was looking at cleaning up the Criminal Code. Things might’ve gone off the rails after concerns around the Bill’s changes to disclosure in sexual assault cases drew constitutional concerns from Senators and defence lawyers but thankfully the bill was ultimately pushed forward. It would have been a lot better had this government kept it’s word and avoided the use of omnibus bills but you have to play with the hand your dealt.
In any case, this seems like a nice, early Winter Solstice gift.
Ian Bushfield is Executive Director of the BC Humanist Association.