This Week in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 2018-07-01

by | July 1, 2018


By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

MONTREAL — Quebec’s law banning people from covering their faces when receiving or giving a public service cannot enter into force until it goes through judicial review because of the irreparable harm it will cause Muslim women, a judge ruled Thursday.It is the second time since December a Quebec judge has suspended the controversial section of the province’s religious neutrality law, which is being challenged in court by a national Muslim group and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Khalid Elgazzar, Vice-Chair of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, said the ruling by Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc-Andre Blanchard was “very strongly worded.”

“It points out that (at first glance) the law violates the freedoms guaranteed by the Quebec and Canadian charters. In essence, it’s confirmation (the law) is a bad solution to a made-up problem,” Elgazzar said.

Section 10 of Quebec’s law on religious neutrality, passed in October 2017, forces everyone to show their faces when receiving or giving a public service.”


“I am writing in response to self-proclaimed activist Amy von Stackelberg’s recent column regarding an article I had written expressing my disappointment about the Liberal government’s decision to add a values test the Canada Summer Jobs Program.

While Ms. von Stackelberg is incorrect on multiple fronts in her response, what I take issue with is that she ignores the fact that this ultimately is about our fundamental freedoms as Canadians.

The right to freedom of belief and opinion is guaranteed by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and I, along with my Conservative colleagues, strongly believe that Canadians should be very concerned that the government is basing funding decisions on whether or not you hold a certain belief.

My Conservative colleagues and I are not the only ones that have these concerns. In fact, Liberal MP Scott Simms, NDP MP David Christopherson and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May have all publicly spoken out against the attestation.”


“On June 15 the Supreme Court of Canada approved the refusal by two law societies to accredit graduates of a proposed law school at Trinity Western University (TWU) in British Columbia. Students and faculty at the private evangelical Christian school are required to sign a “community covenant agreement,” pledging to “voluntarily abstain” from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” Violations of the covenant can result in suspension or expulsion.

The law societies in Ontario and British Columbia condemned the covenant as discriminatory and denied future TWU graduates automatic access to the licensing process. The majority at the Supreme Court held that the denials limited religious freedom, but the limitation was both minimal and reasonable. (Law Society of British Columbia v. Trinity Western University2018 SCC 32; Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada 2018 SCC 33. This article only refers to the B.C. case, which sets out the various analyses in detail.)

Public discussion has framed TWU as a clash between s. 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees freedom of conscience and religion, and the equality rights of LGBTQ individuals. While that is certainly part of the story, the Supreme Court rulings in this case reveal a more nuanced debate over the scope of religious freedom.”


“This Liberal federal government is hardly liberal when it comes to reforming criminal justice.

The most significant change to our criminal justice system has not come from the Liberal government, but from the Supreme Court of Canada. The Jordan decision significantly enhanced the right of the accused to a trial within a reasonable delay and called out the culture of complacency plaguing our criminal justice system.

Many Jordan-driven initiatives, however, display a one-dimensional obsession with clearing cases.

Jordan has required a fundamental re-evaluation of criminal justice in Canada and a consideration of some basic questions:

First, what conduct merits being labelled “criminal”’ and justifies allocation of the significant public resources to prosecute and sanction such conduct?”


“A judge has dismissed a family’s request to keep their daughter on life support after she was declared clinically brain dead last year, ruling that individual values cannot interfere with medical findings.

Taquisha McKitty’s parents had argued their daughter’s Christian faith defines death as the cessation of the heartbeat, and that doctors should have to take people’s beliefs into account before declaring them dead.

Doctors had ruled 27-year-old McKitty “dead by neurological criteria” on Sept. 20, 2017, one week after she was found unconscious on a Brampton, Ont. sidewalk, suffering from a drug overdose.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Lucille Shaw ruled against the family in a written decision issued Tuesday.

“The medical determination of death cannot be subject to an individual’s values and beliefs,” Shaw wrote. “Death … is a finding of fact. To import subjectivity to the definition of death would result in a lack of objectivity, certainty and clarity.””


Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:

Do not forget to look into our associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular Alliance, and Centre for Inquiry Canada.

Category: Canada Tags: , , , , ,

About Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. Jacobsen works for science and human rights, especially women’s and children’s rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere. You can contact Scott via email, his website, or Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.