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LETTER: Disrespect for the rule of law

Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor

The rule of law expresses that all people are equal under the law. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Sec.15.1 states “every individual before and under the law has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

In a Supreme Court of Canada, Mouvement lacquer quebecois v Saguenay (City), 2015, SSC 16, at para 72, the Court ruled that, “the state’s duty of religious neutrality results from an evolving interpretation of freedom of conscience and religion.”

The evolution of Canadian society has given rise to a concept of this neutrality to which the state must not interfere in religion and beliefs. The state must remain neutral in this regard, which means it must neither favour or hinder any particular belief and the same holds true for non-belief.

April 14-21 is Holy Week for Christians and Good Friday, April 19, is a Canadian and worldwide Christian holiday.

A Christian Church in St. John’s requested of the provincial government and St. John’s city council, to fly a Christian flag for Holy Week to bring attention to Good Friday and the persecution of Christians worldwide.

Both the government and city council disregarded the rule of law and Charter freedoms and said no.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that governments must remain neutral regarding philosophical, ideological and religious beliefs.

Both the provincial government and city council have not remained neutral. The provincial government hosts LGBTQ events and raises the pride flag on its courtesy pole at Confederation Building. City council has hosted a Muslim Remembrance Day, a Sex Workers Display, Pride events, flies a Pride flag and paints pride crosswalks.

It is obvious that the provincial government and the City of St. John’s have violated its duty of neutrality, acted in a biased and arbitrary fashion and engaged in the very favouritism prohibited by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Since we are in an election year, it is time for all Christians to say enough is enough and that in the future we want equal treatment under the law.

Tolson Chapman

St. John’s

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