JCCF’s Essay Contest Winners announced
The JCCF holds an annual essay contest for students at Canadian universities, to provide students with educational opportunities to engage with the concepts of freedom and justice.
In 1970, less than 1 per cent of Canadians identified themselves as having “no religion”. By 2005, this had grown to 22 per cent. While less than one fifth of Canadians attending a religious service at least once a week, the number of Canadians who never attend church at all has increased to include over one third of the population. Section 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms enshrines freedom of religion and conscience as a “fundamental” freedom along with freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of peaceful assembly.
In this context, the JCCF asked students:
“With only a minority of Canadians attending a place of worship regularly, is it important to preserve freedom of religion and conscience in Canada’s increasingly secularized society? Why or why not?”
More than 80 well-written essays were received from students at 19 universities in nine provinces. The JCCF’s panel of judges included Barbara Kay, Danny Hozak, Dave Reesor, Gary Feltham, Graham Price, Norm Machida and Sharon Maclise. The decision was difficult, but after careful consideration the JCCF has awarded the following students with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place:
1st – Lia Milousis – University of Ottawa, Honours with Specialization in Political Science – Read Essay
2nd – Jennifer Lee – Osgoode Hall Law School, Juris Doctor – Read Essay
3rd – Chelsea Dobbie – Justice Institute of British Columbia, Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management – Read Essay