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In: Science

Submitted By YULIYA1
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CREED CASE LAW REVIEW
May 2012

INTRODUCTION When the Ontario Human Rights Code became law in 1962, creed was one of the original grounds of discrimination. This was likely to deal with the fact that at the time, there was significant overt discrimination against religious minorities. Over time, Canada’s legal and societal approach to creed rights has evolved significantly. However, it continues to be one of, if not the, most complex and controversial area of rights law. Perhaps more than any other ground in human rights codes, creed rights tend to give rise to strong opinions, even among those who may not otherwise have much to say about human rights. Everything from what is creed (and what beliefs and practices are protected under the ground of creed), how creed claims are proven, how creed must be accommodated and what to do where creed bumps up against other rights have led to judicial interpretation and public debate. In Quebec, the provincial government appointed a Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences 1 in response to public discontent concerning accommodation of, among other things, creed rights. This may be in part because creed is unique in some respects. It encompasses not just innate personal characteristics but also covers associated practices and beliefs. Rights in relation to religion have been recognized as not just equality rights, but also among the “fundamental freedoms” of every Canadian as listed in s. 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 2 As well, as will be seen in the discussion of the human rights decisions in this paper, creed more than any other right is impacted by international events, as issues from around the world can lead to religious intolerance and discrimination in Canada. A growing trend towards secularization may mean that there is less tolerance for religious practices generally,...

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