I’m here in Edmonton with faith leaders from many different communities, and we’ve just had a discussion about religious freedoms in Canada. It’s a subject close to the hearts of millions of Canadians who see their faith as part of their everyday life. Many Canadians grew up with a church or a synagogue nearby, a place where they could practice their faith, build community. Many more Canadians have come to Canada looking forward to the promise of a country where they could worship and practice their religion without fear of the persecution that is too often seen in other nations around the world. The subject of our conversation today is clause 14 in omnibus Bill C-51, and the proposed changes by the Liberal government. The Liberals seek to remove a crucial section of the criminal code – one that protects religious leaders from intimidation meant to prevent them from leading worship for the communities. It also allows for charges to be pressed against those who disrupt religious services because of their intolerance. The Liberals say these protections aren’t needed. we say they’re absolutely wrong. There are too many examples from around the world, and even here at home in Canada, where people are persecuted because of their faith. Removing protections for the people who help guide their faith communities will only embolden those who use the vile tactics of fear and intimidation against religions that they oppose. Conservatives want to keep Canada a welcoming place, where the freedom to worship and practice your religion as you choose is a recognized basic human right. That’s why we will unconditionally oppose this Liberal attempt to take away those protections. Canada must remain a place where all people can worship and gather without fear.