Justice and Freedom: The Blog

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Should Schools ‘Cleanse the Spirits’ of Children?

John Carpay, The Epoch Times, December 2, 2019 Can children in public schools be subjected to spiritual practices or ceremonies that invoke the supernatural? Are some practices religious even while also being cultural? These are among the questions the B.C. Supreme Court will wrestle with after hearing the case of Candice Servatius v. School District No. 70 (Alberni). The case originated in September 2015, when Candice Servatius received a letter from the principal of John Howitt Elementary School in Port ...
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Media’s reporting incredibly biased on B.C. Indigenous rituals in public schools case

John Carpay, The Post Millennial, November 20, 2019 A trial underway in a Nanaimo B.C. courtroom this week is attracting controversy and strong opinions on both sides of the issue, as it forces school officials, the media and the public to reluctantly confront the question of what constitutes “religion” in the public sphere.  The case of Candice Servatius v. School District No. 70 (Alberni) is about whether a public school can require children to participate in a spiritual ceremony, or ...
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Forcing children to participate in spiritual ritual at the centre of BC court hearing

NANAIMO:  This week, the Supreme Court of BC will hear the case of a mother who objected to her children being forced to participate in two supernatural rituals at their Port Alberni public school. In 2015, the school required children to participate in a ceremony whereby smoke from burning sage was fanned over the classroom’s children for purposes of cleansing their spirits of negative energy. Later in the school year, a prayer was offered at a mandatory student assembly. The ...
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B.C. court to rule on forcing children to participate in supernatural rituals

John Carpay, The Post Millennial, November 15, 2019 Public schools in British Columbia are not complying with court rulings, because children are required to participate in supernatural or religious rituals and spiritual practices in the classroom. For most of Canada’s history, children in public schools have recited the Lord’s Prayer, while children in Catholic schools recited the Our Father, the same prayer. The “public” schools were, in fact, Protestant schools, inculcating the general principles of non-Catholic Christianity. In recent decades, ...
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BC Human Rights Tribunal declines to reconsider decision in favour of estheticians who refused to wax male genitalia

VANCOUVER:  The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is pleased to announce that the BC Human Rights Tribunal has declined to reconsider its October 22 ruling in favour of the right of home estheticians to refuse to handle male genitalia against their will. The Complainant, Jessica Yaniv, had sought reconsideration from the Tribunal on the grounds of contended factual errors, unfairness and alleged bias. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms represented five estheticians from diverse ethnic backgrounds who operated home-based business ...
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The focus of the Justice Centre’s activities are as follows:

Individual Freedom: The Fundamental Freedoms afforded to each and every Canadian by section two of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter).  These freedoms are paramount and embody the very values comprising our democratic society.  They are:
Freedom of Religion and Conscience: The freedom of each and every individual or community, in public or private, to peacefully express their distinct religious beliefs through worship, observance, practice and teaching without censorship or limitation.  This includes the freedom to change your religion or to not follow any religion.  This also includes the freedom of each and every Canadian to hold or consider a fact, value, viewpoint or other thought independent from other individuals.

Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression: The freedom to seek out an understanding of and peacefully express your thoughts, opinions and beliefs without censorship or limitation.  This includes freedom of the press and other media of communication.  Freedom of expression is the keystone of our democratic society.

Freedom of Peaceful Assembly: The freedom to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests.

Freedom of Association: The freedom to choose to live in a community, be part of an organization or associate with any individual based on your values, culture and other personal preferences.

Equality before the law: Section 15 of the Charter enumerates the human right held by each and every Canadian to be treated equally before and under the law, and to be afforded equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination based on race, ancestry, ethnicity, age, gender or other such personal characteristics.  This right holds each and every Canadian subject to the same laws, and ensures that no individual or group shall receive special legal privileges.