Court challenges arise over prayers in the classroom
Canada has struggled with the role of religion in public schools throughout the past half-century. The debate in recent decades is complicated by the fact that Canada is now home to so many different religions. From questioning the recitation of the Lord's Prayer in class to wearing ceremonial daggers at school, the right to exercise one's religion in public school classrooms remains the subject of fierce debate in Canada.
In Ontario the Court of Appeal rules that the practice of saying the Lord's Prayer infringes on the right to freedom of religion as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and is therefore unconstitutional. One religion must not be given a position of dominance, and opening or closing exercises at school must reflect the multicultural realities and traditions of Ontario society.
. In 1988, the Ontario the Court of Appeal ruled that this regulation pressured religious minorities to conform to the practices of the Christian majority, which was an infringement of section 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which states: Everyone has freedom of conscience and religion.
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Sept. 27, 1988
Guest(s): John Dickinson, Noel Herron, Ken Palmer, Chris Tait
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Karen Webb
Last updated: November 28, 2013
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
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