André Schutten, Ottawa Citizen, March 23, 2014: In her 1991 lecture, “Who owns our kids?”, Canada’s Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin warned, “Despite the fact that we now have a constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion, the Canadian record offers no room for complacency. Our history underscores the ease with which the guarantee can be undermined in well-meaning efforts motivated by conflicting social goals.”
Her words ring true as much today as 23 years ago. On Monday, the Supreme Court of Canada will be asked to answer the very question McLachlin raised. The case before it exemplifies what she warned about: undermining religious freedom through social reconstruction by possibly well-meaning, though severely misguided, government bureaucracies.
The case is known as “the Loyola case.” Loyola is an independent “confessional Christian” Jesuit boys’ school in Montreal. In 2005, the Québec Ministry of Education introduced a new curriculum called Ethics and Religious Culture. In 2008, ERC became mandatory for all grades (except grade 9) in all public, private and even home schools. Keep reading this article at the Ottawa Citizen.