PRINCIPLES

Freedom means that … no one is to be forced to act in a way contrary to his beliefs or his conscience. (Chief Justice Dickson)

“A truly free society is one which can accommodate a wide variety of beliefs, diversity of tastes and pursuits, customs and codes of conduct. … Freedom must surely be founded in respect for the inherent dignity and the inviolable rights of the human person.” 

Chief Justice Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada

Canadian courts have long recognized that religious freedom has at least two dimensions:

• the freedom to believe

• the freedom to manifest those beliefs in action.

“Religion is an integral part of each person’s identity. When the state treats his or her religious practices or beliefs as less important or less true than the practices of others, or when it marginalizes her or his religious community in some way, it is not simply rejecting the individual’s views and values, it is denying her or his equal worth.”

~ Chief Justice Gascon of the Supreme Court of Canada; Professor R. Moon

“The State is in no position to be, nor should it become, the arbiter of religious dogma”

~ Supreme Court of Canada