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BPC Bulletin April 11, 2024

BPC Bulletin: The Proposed Removal of the Religious Argument Defence in Cases of Wilfully Promoting Hatred (2)

News Reports and Commentary Selected by Franklin Carter of the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee.

Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, a member of the Bloc Québécois, recently introduced a bill in the House of Commons.

Bill C-373 proposes to eliminate religious arguments expressed in good faith as a defence in court against charges of wilfully promoting hatred or anti-Semitism.

Brunelle-Duceppe’s bill replaces Bill C-367, which François Blanchet, the leader of the Bloc Québécois, introduced in November 2023.

The First Reading of Bill C-373 occurred in the House of Commons on February 5, 2024.

BILL C-373

Private Member's Bill C-373 (44-1) - First Reading - An Act to amend the Criminal Code (promotion of hatred or antisemitism) - Parliament of Canada 


In The Catholic Register, Quinton Amundson reports:

Bloc bills are an ‘attack’ on people of faith (

In The Globe and Mail, Marie Woolf reports:

MPs, religious groups seek to end religious hate-speech defence in online harms bill - The Globe and Mail

Gwen Roley of AFP Canada reports:

Canadian bill would not criminalize all religious expression | Fact Check (

At 338 Canada, Philippe J. Fournier reports:

Léger: Canadians Support Removing Religious Privilege Regarding Hate Speech (

Cedric Gallant of Nunatsiaq News reports:

Nunavik MP wants to change Criminal Code on hate speech (

In Le Devoir, Boris Proulx reports:
Le Bloc québécois redépose son «projet de loi Charkaoui» | Le Devoir 

Thanks go to Charles Montpetit who forwarded Boris Proulx’s report.

The Book and Periodical Council was formed in 1975 as the Book and Periodical Development Council to provide a venue for members to discuss industry issues, address mutual concerns and undertake projects for the benefit of Canadian writing and publishing.