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Chanukah and Canada’s Religious Freedom Problem

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Chanukah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees, a renewal of Jewish Government in the land of Israel, and religious freedom in the face of spiritual threats. Religious freedom is a value that Canada claims to hold, enshrined in Section Two of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Those who live abroad may think this is the case and that Canada is a tolerant progressive utopia with the downside of a little snow. Yes, Canada welcomes immigrants of all faiths, refugees fleeing violence, and, most recently, voted unanimously to ban LGBT conversion therapy. However, Canada also has flaws that are often not visible from the outside that those south of the border may find hard to believe.

In Canada, one does not have inalienable human rights. A person’s rights are constantly threatened either by courts and their “reasonable limits” or by provincial and federal governments and their potentially unreasonable ones. The Notwithstanding Clause of the Canadian Constitution effectively allows legislatures to overrule the most important rights one has and evade proper judicial review. With a simple majority vote, any province can take away one’s rights to: life, free speech, freedom of religion, liberty, security of the person, trial within reasonable time and equality. Legislatures can........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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