The answer to that question is an unequivocal no. According to former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper,
“…separation of church and state is an American constitutional concept and does not apply to the Canadian constitution”.
He went on to say that separation of church and state in Canada has meant, traditionally, that the government will not interfere with religion.
Even atheists and secularists such as Doug Thomas, President, Secular Connexion Seculaire, a Humanist Rights Advocacy Group has admitted:
“There are no clauses in the Constitution Act of 1867 (the BNA Act to those born before 1982) that separate church and state. Indeed, our Head of State, the Monarchy, is also the Head of the Church of England and Defender of the Faith…since that Monarchy is directly involved with the Church of England and, by extension, the Anglican Church of Canada, the best the Crown can do is to tolerate all other churches (and atheism) in Canada. Enter the tradition of non-interference with religion.”
So the next time you hear someone falsely claim that separation of church and state is constitutional in Canada, remind them of their fallacy based on the facts and the history of Canada.
Does Premiere Brad Wall have the constitutional right to pray at the Saskatchewan Legislature and give a message at Christmas time ? Yes he does. Even as a leader in government, Wall has the unalienable right to freely practise his faith both privately and publicly without interference.
Tolerance for other religions and governmental non-interference has been part and parcel our history in Canada. Ironically, there are those who would challenge in the courts our fundamental right to freely practice our faith in Canadian society without government interference. In other words, there are individuals and groups in Canadian society that actually want government to interfere with religion in Canada. The vast majority of Canadians who practice some sort of faith and tradition would profoundly disagree with the aforementioned interference.
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