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View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2018-10-25 17:37 [p.22855]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Motion No. 155, moved by my good friend, the member for Scarborough Centre. This motion seeks to recognize, celebrate and raise awareness of the Filipino community in Canada and designate June as Filipino heritage month. My riding of Nepean and the national capital region are home to the sixth-largest Filipino community in Canada, with nearly 10,000 Filipinos residing here.
There are a large number of organizations in Canada working hard to keep the Filipino culture alive. One is the Canadian Filipino Net, a group of Canadian Filipinos who are passionate about raising the profile of Filipinos in Canada by providing news and views of Canadian Filipino communities across the country. According to it, Tinig Pinoy Radio is an on-line radio station that reaches out to millions of Filipinos across the world with its unique blend of programming. Tinig Pinoy, which in English means Filipino voice, delivers news from the Philippines, updates from various Filipino communities in different countries, and interviews and opinions on various issues. Tinig Pinoy is hosted by founder and executive, Dan De Castro, with Regina Sosing as its fantastic program director, and Gerry Orcia as technical producer.
We have a dynamic Filipino community in Ottawa today. We have the Philippines Independence Committee of the Ottawa Valley, led by its very active president, Nora Arriola. We have very active Filipino community leaders like Regina Genducao of Hiligaynon Association; Ms. Lilly Lay of the Filipiniana Association of Ottawa Valley; Ms. Mely Gomz of the Ottawa Valley Fil-Can Seniors Association; Ms. Maura David of the Assumption Parish Organization; Dr. Ruby Formoso of Philippine Heritage Foundation Canada; Mr. Rafael Mamaril of Philippine Centre Canada; and Mr. Lawrence Laureta of the Ilocano Ngarud Society.
We also have very active community leaders like Sonia Del Rosario, who was awarded Nepean’s Canada 150th Anniversary Medal for her contribution to the community.
According to the writer Jujanester, Filipinos have great characteristics and qualities that every one of us should be proud of: first, hospitality, which is a very different kind of values system that has existed in their community for thousands of years; second, respect, which is often observed not just by younger people, but by Filipino people of all ages; third, strong family ties and religion; fourth, generosity and helpfulness; fifth, a strong work ethic; and sixth, being loving and caring.
I am proud to support designating June as Filipino heritage month.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2017-05-03 19:00 [p.10722]
moved that Bill C-305, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (mischief), be read the third time and passed.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking all members of this House. They unanimously supported this bill at second reading. Bill C-305 seeks to amend a subsection of the Criminal Code which deals with damages to property due to crime motivated by hate based on religion, race, colour, and national or ethnic origin. The bill proposes to expand this to include motivation by hate based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
In its present form, subsection 430(4.1) of the Criminal Code creates an offence for hate-motivated mischief relating to religious property. Bill C-305 proposes to amend this section by expanding the scope of buildings to which this subsection applies. The proposed amendments add hate-motivated mischief directed at a building primarily used as an educational institution or for administrative, social, cultural, or sports events, or as a residence for seniors. These are in addition to the places of worship, such as temples, mosques, synagogues, and churches. The unanimous support for this bill, as received today, sends a strong message to all Canadians that we stand united against hate crimes.
Bill C-305 would expand the scope of motivating grounds on which the offence may be based. The current law only provides protection for crimes motivated by hate based on religion, race, colour, and national or ethnic origin. The proposed amendments would add the grounds of hate, sex, sexual orientation, and mental or physical disability.
The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has proposed amendments—
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2017-05-03 19:00 [p.10723]
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has proposed amendments which I humbly accept. It is my understanding that the government will support the amendments to Bill C-305 that were passed as the proposed changes are consistent with our government's stated commitment to diversity and inclusion. The amendments would protect additional groups and ensure consistency with other provisions of the Criminal Code, and address over-breadth.
I am honoured to have received support from many religious and community organizations all across the country. Organizations representing the Jewish faith, the Islam faith, Sikhs, Hindus, and Christians have overwhelmingly supported Bill C-305. LGBTQ2 groups have also been strong supporters of this bill. It is my hope that this bill and, optimistically, soon a law can bring some peace of mind by acting as a strong deterrent against these acts of hatred.
Hate crimes happen in small towns and large cities. They involve everything from simple graffiti to brutal murders. They may be called hate crimes, bias crimes, civil rights crimes, or ethnic intimidation. All these crimes are committed because of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or against other recognized groups.
Canada is an inclusive nation. We welcome people from all over the world, irrespective of race, religion, colour, or creed. Regardless of where people are from, what nationality they are, or what they believe, they will be treated with respect in Canada.
Although bigotry may be as old as humanity itself, the term “hate crime” is a new one, as is the idea of special treatment of these offences. The term “hate crime” came into common use during the 1980s, but the term is often used retrospectively in order to describe events which occurred prior to that era. From the Roman persecution of Christians to the Nazi slaughter of Jews, hate crimes were committed by both individuals and governments long before the term was commonly used.
We had certain dark episodes in our country: the Chinese head tax; the internment of Ukrainian, Japanese, and Italian Canadians during the First and the Second World Wars; our turning away boats of Jewish and Punjabi refugees; our own history of slavery; “No Irish need apply”; “We don't speak French here, so speak white”; the discrimination faced by Greek and Portuguese Canadians in Toronto and other places.
The same rhetoric that led to a “none is too many” immigration policy toward Jews in the 1930s and 1940s is being used to raise fears against Muslims today. There has been discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for a very long time. The Criminal Code once described gay men as “criminal sexual psychopaths” and “dangerous sexual offenders”.
In the 1960s, we deployed the RCMP to investigate suspected homosexuals. This discrimination still exists in Canadian society today.
While Bill C-305 would not solve every issue related to racism and discrimination, it would take important small steps in protecting those most vulnerable, strengthening the Criminal Code, and acting as a strong deterrent.
In my speech today, I will refer to an excerpt from the book Hate Crimes: Causes, Controls, and Controversies, by Phyllis Gerstenfeld. She writes that the birth of hate crimes in the United States was in 1977 when a neo-Nazi group called the National Socialist Party of America wished to hold a demonstration in front of the village hall in Skokie, Illinois, which had a huge, large Jewish population, many of whom were Holocaust survivors. One organization that paid special attention to this was the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, a group that combats anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. Alarmed by increasing anti-Semitism and frustrated with existing federal and state laws, it drafted a model ethnic intimidation statute in 1981.
Together with allies, such as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, it began lobbying states to pass the statute. When it was passed, the model statute contained four provisions. The first of these is institutional vandalism, aimed primarily at people who targeted cemeteries, community centres, and places of worship. Bill C-305 would also deal with this provision, with proposed amendments to the Criminal Code.
Hate-based mischief can have a long lasting impact on the community. A recent study by the Department of Justice stated that the commission of a hate crime is against not only the individual but the entire community. It quoted David Matas who said that people live in community, their Rights are exercised in community. The study further stated:
With victims of hate crime, it is important to consider that the impact on the community is particularly devastating, as hate crimes are “message crimes in that the perpetrator is sending a message to the members of a certain group that they are despised, devalued, or unwelcome in a particular neighbourhood, community, school, or workplace”.
As well, it is important to consider that the impact on the individual victim may result in the victim rejecting the aspect of themselves that was the target of the attack or associating a core part of their identity with fear, loss, and vulnerability.
Since introducing this bill eight months ago, there have been a considerable number of high profile hate-related incidents. Right here in Ottawa, hate-based motivated acts were committed against synagogues, a Jewish community centre, a rabbi's private home, mosques, and a church. Then there was the horrific shooting at a mosque in Quebec. Whenever these things happen, it is important for each and every one of us to stand up united to condemn these acts.
The intent of the bill is consistent with our commitment to ensure equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination, in keeping with the charter. It is also consistent with a clear message that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Canada. Bill C-305 would take a strong step in making our neighbourhoods and communities a safer place to live. Think of the strong message we would be sending to all Canadians that not only select people but all people in Canada can feel safer knowing that Parliament has taken concrete and strong measures to protect them.
Once again, I would like to thank all members for their continued support of Bill C-305.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2017-05-03 19:09 [p.10724]
Mr. Speaker, Bill C-305 proposes to amend a subsection of the Criminal Code which deals with hate crimes against religious property. With the proposed amendments passed by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, that subsection would include hate crimes against religious properties and other buildings as well. The existing motivations have been expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2017-05-03 19:10 [p.10724]
Mr. Speaker, under the current subsection of the Criminal Code, vandalism against the Jewish Community Centre is not covered.
Under Bill C-305, with the amendments that have been passed by the Standing Committee on Justice, vandalism against the Jewish Community Centre would be covered.
That was a major focus of this bill, to expand the definition of property to beyond places of worship. The current subsection in the Criminal Code is limited to places of worship only, but with this new bill it would be expanded to include schools, community centres, cultural centres, and those used mainly by these identifiable groups.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2017-05-03 19:12 [p.10724]
Mr. Speaker, this bill, as I mentioned earlier, expands the definition of property, and goes beyond places of worship, such as churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques, and cemeteries. The bill includes schools, community centres, cultural centres, and seniors residences which are predominantly used by identifiable groups. Through that, it would provide protection to the community at large.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2017-05-03 19:54 [p.10730]
Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my hon. colleague from Brampton South for her support throughout the process. I would also like to thank the hon. member for Mount Royal, the chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and all committee members who worked hard and delivered a bill that is more robust.
I am honoured to have received support from many religious and community organizations all across the country, organizations representing the Jewish faith, the Muslim faith, Sikhs, Hindus, and Christian faiths. They were all supportive. LGBTQ groups have also been a strong supporter, and it is my hope that this bill will soon become law and bring some peace of mind. In particular, I would like to recognize the support I received from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, which worked hard to generate support from various stakeholders.
The consequences of hate crimes are considerable. A manual issued by the Attorney General of Ontario lists the impact of hate crimes on individuals, target groups, vulnerable minority groups, and the community as a whole. It says, on the impact on the community as a whole:
This, perhaps, is the greatest evil of hate crime. Hate crime can end up dividing people in society. In a multicultural society like Canada, where all groups are to live together in harmony and equality, hate crime is an anathema. Any occurrence of hate crime is a negation of the fundamental values of Canada.
Bill C-305 would codify the intent of this House into law. It would send a strong message to all Canadians that we stand united against hate crimes.
Once again, I would like to thank every member of the House who has, so far, unanimously supported this bill.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2017-02-02 17:58 [p.8420]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise once again to speak to Bill C-305. I do so with a very heavy heart in light of the recent horrific attack at a mosque in Quebec City. It pains me to see such a hate-motivated act taken against our fellow Canadians. Hate such as this has absolutely no place in Canada. Bill C-305 is one of the small steps we can take to eliminate hate-motivated crimes in Canada.
I would like to thank my colleagues from all parties for their interest and contribution to this debate.
I would like to quote Martin Niemöller, the prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. He stated:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a SocialistThen they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Bill C-305 would recognize that hate motivated by bias based on gender identity and sexual orientation would carry the same weight as crimes committed against religion, race, colour, national or ethnic origin. The bill would expand it to include schools, day care centres, colleges or universities, community centres, seniors' residences, and cultural centres. The impact felt by victims of hate crimes cannot be limited to just places of worship.
The public properties proposed to be included have either all been subject to hate crime or are vulnerable to being a target of hate crime. Whether it is places of worship or other property, the negative impact of hate crimes on the community remains the same. Also, under this criminal subsection, if a person is found guilty of an offence, there are stiff prison terms. While I agree education is the best long-term solution, I also believe a strong law and punishment act as major deterrents.
At this point, I would like to quote Dr. Martin Luther King on the interaction between positive law, morality, and culture. He stated:
It may be true that morality cannot be legislated, but behaviour can be regulated. It may be true that the law cannot change the heart, but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law can’t make a man love me, but it can restrain him from lynching me...So while the law may not change the hearts of men, it does change the habits of men. And when you change the habits of men, pretty soon the attitudes and the hearts will be changed. And so there is a need for strong legislation constantly to grapple with the problems we face.
It is very important that we have a strong and robust law for hate crimes. Again, I agree education is important, but I am equally confident that good law is also required.
It is heartening to note the near-unanimous support I have received from all sections of society. I would like to recognize and thank the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs for its ongoing support and its efforts to mobilize other stakeholders.
Bill C-305 takes a strong step to making our neighbourhoods and communities safer places to live. Think of the strong message we would be sending to all Canadians: that not select people but all people of Canada can feel safer knowing that Parliament has taken concrete and strong measures to protect them. I ask my fellow members support this important bill.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2016-11-22 17:30 [p.7102]
moved that Bill C-305, an act to amend the Criminal Code (mischief), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to my private member's bill. Bill C-305 seeks to amend a subsection of the Criminal Code which deals with damages to property due to crime, motivated by hate, based on religion, race, colour or national or ethnic origin. The bill proposes to expand this to include motivation by hate based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Also, the subsection is primarily limited to places of worship like churches, mosques, synagogues and temples.
The proposed Bill C-305 seeks to expand this to include schools, day care centres, colleges, universities, community centres, seniors residences and cultural centres.
Recently there were acts of hate crimes in Ottawa, motivated by hate based on religion and race. Synagogues, a Jewish community centre, a Rabbi's private home, mosques and a church were targeted.
Whenever these things happen, it is important for each and every one of us to stand up united to condemn these acts.
I am Hindu, and no Hindu temples in Ottawa were targeted in the recent hate crime wave. However, in times like this, we do need people from all different religions and races to stand united together. We need, each one of us, to speak to each other and in one single voice.
Let me quote Martin Niemöller, the prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. He said:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Under this criminal subsection, if a person is found guilty of an indictable offence, the prison term is up to 10 years. If a person is found guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction, the prison term is up to 18 months.
After these recent hate crimes in Ottawa, several religious leaders have stated that education and compassion are more important than law and the consequent punishment to eliminate and eradicate these hatred acts from our society
However, while I agree education is the best long-term solution, I also believe a strong law acts as a major deterrent. We have seen that we have combatted social issues like smoking, and wearing seatbelts through an effective combination of law and education.
At this point, I would like to quote Dr. Martin Luther King on the interaction between positive law, morality, and culture. He said:
It may be true that morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. It may be true that the law cannot change the heart, but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law can’t make a man love me, but it can restrain him from lynching me...So while the law may not change the hearts of men, it does change the habits of men; and when you change the habits of men, pretty soon the attitudes and the hearts will be changed. And so there is a need for strong legislation constantly to grapple with the problems that we face.
Also, it is quite interesting to see people who diametrically disagree on ideologies seem to agree on the relationship between culture and law. I would like to quote Ryan Anderson who is the William E. Simon senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation. While I completely disagree with Mr. Anderson's views on pro-choice and marriage, I do like to quote him on culture and law.
Culture shapes law, but so too does law shape culture. The law both reflects our values and teaches values—especially to younger generations. The better metaphor, I think, is that of two coasts connected by a tide, that comes in and out, that picks up and drops off on the shorelines. Law and culture reinforce each other, either for or against human dignity and human flourishing.
Therefore, it is very important that we have a strong and robust law for hate crimes. Again, I agree that education is important, but I am equally confident that good law is also required.
There is also an interesting article that appeared in the Christian Research Journal, which said:
Because every law springs from a system of values and beliefs, every law is an instance of legislating Morality. Further, because a nation’s laws always exercise a pedagogical or teaching influence, law inescapably exerts a shaping effect over the beliefs, character, and actions of the nation’s citizens, whether for good or ill. Those who seek to separate morality from law, therefore, are in pursuit both of the impossible and the destructive. The question before us is never whether or not to legislate morality, but which moral system ought to be made legally binding.
It is heartening to note the near unanimous support I have received from all sections of society. Every person has expressed his or her support and encouragement. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the support I have received from a diverse group of religious and ethnic organizations. I would like to recognize and thank the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs for its ongoing support and its efforts to mobilize the stakeholders.
I would like to thank the following organizations that have pledged their support for Bill C-305: the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, World Sikh Organization, Coalition of Progressive Muslim Organizations, Canada India Foundation, Canadian Rabbinic Caucus, Association of Progressive Muslims, Baha'i Community of Canada, Multicultural Council for Ontario Seniors, Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Ghanaian Canadian Association of Ontario, Presbyterian Church in Canada, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at of Canada, Armenian National Committee of Canada, Canadian Polish Congress, Jamaican Canadian Association, Reconciliation Canada, Anglican Diocese of New Westminster, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, Vivekananda Vedanta Society of British Columbia, Temple Sholom of British Columbia, International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) of Vancouver, and the Akali Singh Sikh Society of Vancouver.
With respect to hate crimes, there are some alarming statistics that I would like to share today. As per a Statistics Canada report released in 2015, it was noted that 51% of police reported hate crimes were motivated by hatred of race or ethnicity, 28% was motivated by religion, and 16% by sexual orientation.
Furthermore, six out of 10 hate crimes were classified as non-violent. These would include crimes such as mischief, public incitement of hatred, and disturbing the peace. Mischief in relation to religious property and other types of mischief made up over half of all reported hate crime incidents. It was the most commonly reported offence. This is regarding the same subsection of the Criminal Code that my proposed bill deals with. Out of all of those crimes, 4% of mischief related to religious property was motivated by hate.
Four out of 10 police-reported hate crimes involved violent offences, such as assault, uttering threats, and criminal harassment. Among religious hate crimes, 18% were violent. Hate crimes fuelled by prejudice against sexual orientation at 66%, or against race and ethnicity at 44%, were most likely to involve violence.
There was a recent study by the Department of Justice on understanding the community impact of hate crimes. It states, “The commission of a hate crime is against not only the individual but the entire community.” It quotes David Matas as stating that “People live in community. Rights are exercised in community”.
The study continues:
With victims of hate crime, it is important to consider that the impact on the community is particularly devastating, as hate crimes are 'message crimes in that the perpetrator is sending a message to the members of a certain group that they are despised, devalued, or unwelcome in a particular neighbourhood, community, school, or workplace.
Furthermore, it notes:
As well, it is important to consider that the impact on the individual victim may result in the victim rejecting the aspect of themselves that was the target of the attack or associating a core part of their identity with fear, loss, and vulnerability.
The study concludes:
The data also showed that after the hate crime incident, many people experienced increased levels of fear for their personal safety and for the safety of their family.... As a result, many community members took measures to protect themselves and their family, especially members of the targeted ethnic identity community.
This bill expands the number of places to include schools, day care centres, colleges or universities, community centres, seniors residences, and cultural centres, because the impact felt by those victims of hate crimes cannot be limited just to places of worship. The public properties proposed to be included have either all been subject to hate crime or are vulnerable to being a target of hate crimes. Whether it is places of worship or other properties, the negative impact of hate crimes on the community remains the same.
Bill C-305 will also recognize that hate motivated by bias based on gender identity and sexual orientation carries the same weight as crimes committed against religion, race, colour, national or ethnic origin. I am open to amendments with a view to broadening and further strengthening the bill.
The issue of hate crime is truly one that saturates communities nationwide. While we may be shocked and appalled when these terrible acts occur, we must focus on how we may prevent them in the future. Make no mistake: this is an issue that affects every riding and every member of the House; this is an issue that goes across all party lines. There is no room for hate and/or discrimination in Canada. We are a nation that embraces its diversity and that is inclusive of people irrespective of their race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation. I know—
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2016-11-22 17:46 [p.7104]
Madam Speaker, I have been very clear that I am against mandatory minimum sentences.
The punishment side of the bill, amending subsection 430(4.1) of the Criminal Code, reads, “imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or” if the person “is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.”
I have been very clear. I am not for mandatory minimum sentences. The point I also made was that education was equally important. We have seen a lot of crimes and a lot of mistakes solved through both the education and law.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2016-11-22 17:48 [p.7104]
Madam Speaker, I have been in touch with the Minister of Justice, and I hope, and am fairly confident, the government will back the bill.
I am open to amendments to further strengthen this bill so it will survive the whole process.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2016-11-22 17:49 [p.7104]
Madam Speaker, the hate crimes in Ottawa likely have been solved and the culprit caught.
The men and women in uniform are doing a great job in protecting the community and the individuals. They, too, are looking forward, when the bill can expand the definition of a hate crime and cover the scope of crimes against what properties. I hope the bill will further strengthen and enhance in solving the crimes.
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