Wednesday, April 15, 2015

City Council cannot start with prayer

Mouvement laïque québécois v.Saguenay (City), 2015 SCC 16

The state's duty of religious neutrality results from an evolving interpretation of freedom of conscience and religion. The evolution of Canadian society has given rise to a concept of this neutrality according to which the state must not interfere in religion and beliefs. The state must instead remain neutral in this regard, which means that it must neither favour nor hinder any particular belief, and the same holds true for non‑belief. The pursuit of the ideal of a free and democratic society requires the state to encourage everyone to participate freely in public life regardless of their beliefs. A neutral public space free from coercion, pressure and judgment on the part of public authorities in matters of spirituality is intended to protect every person's freedom and dignity, and it helps preserve and promote the multicultural nature of Canadian society. The state's duty to protect every person's freedom of conscience and religion means that it may not use its powers in such a way as to promote the participation of certain believers or non‑believers in public life to the detriment of others. If the state adheres to a form of religious expression under the guise of cultural or historical reality or heritage, it breaches its duty of neutrality. 


Anonymous said...

Apparently not in the cases of the Dennis R. Timbrell Recreation Centre, Valley Park Middle School, University of Regina many other places that Muslims have managed to receive exceptions for religious and cultural practices all in the name of religious equality, social egalitarianism and reasonable accommodation.

Anonymous said...

Let me add Webber Academy in Alberta to that list of Muslim special accommodations.