Ottawa, ON – Today, Garnett Genuis, Conservative Shadow Minister for International Development, spoke about his Private Member’s Bill, C-257, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting against discrimination based on political belief).

Bill C-257 would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to add “Political Belief” and “Political Activity” to the categories of prohibited grounds for discrimination.

Currently, there are no federal protections against discrimination on the basis of political beliefs or activity. This leaves individuals vulnerable to discrimination, threatening their rights to freedom of speech, and their freedom to be involved in the democratic process without reprisal.

“This Bill is about protecting the rights of individuals – their freedom of speech and their freedom to be involved in the democratic process without facing reprisals. But it is also about realizing the benefits that come with a free democracy and a robust civil society,” said Genuis. “Workers and all Canadians should have their rights protected and should be able to express themselves and involve themselves in the democratic process without fear of political discrimination.”

The Bill would allow exceptions for bona fide occupations regarding occupations where political partisanship or political neutrality are reasonable requirements for employment.

“Canadians must be free to express and act on their political beliefs, within the law and with the protection of the law. They should not face intimidation or discrimination while doing so, by either governments or private employers,” said Genuis.

“This freedom is essential for a strong democracy with a robust and independent civil society.” The full text of the bill can be found here.