The First Freedom: Freedom of Conscience and Religion In Canada

Year Published:  1986
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX3165

THE FIRST FREEDOM: FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND RELIGION IN CANADA is the second in a series of booklets based on Freedom of Conscience as set out in the Canadian Constitution passed in 1982. The booklet is based on research by staff members of Conscience Canada inc.

The book recognizes that freedom of conscience goes back nearly 200 years. It discusses the opposition of groups such as the Quakers, the Mennonites and the Doukhobors to violence and war and their migration from the United States to Canada to escape military service and payment of taxes to support wars.

Other chapters deal with freedom of religion under the 1960 Canadian Bill of Rights, and freedom on conscience and religion under the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Although Section 2 of the Charter guarentees freedom of religion and conscience, Section 33, allows federal or provincial governments "to expressly declare that certain legislation will not be subject to the protection of the religious freedom set out in Section 2."

The book also deals in depth with conscientious tax objectors -- those who pay the portion of their taxes that would go to the military to the Peace Tax Fund, at the same address.

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