FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2022
OTTAWA, ON – Canadians’ enthusiasm for freedom of conscience and religion is increasing, according to a new survey by the Angus Reid Institute in partnership with think-tank Cardus. Almost 7 in 10 Canadians now agree that this constitutionally protected fundamental freedom makes Canada a better country. That’s up from 2018 when just 59% agreed that “freedom of religion” improved Canada.
“Freedom of conscience and religion is a fundamental freedom—something all people have simply by being human,” says Ray Pennings, Cardus Executive Vice-President. “The real test is how well we do in respecting freedom of conscience and religion.”
Worryingly, Canadians are more likely to say freedom of conscience and religion is getting weaker rather than stronger.
“The fact that houses of worship often faced stricter pandemic restrictions than liquor or hardware stores probably comes through in these findings,” says Pennings. “Let’s also not forget Quebec’s secularism law, which marginalizes religious Canadians regardless of constitutional guarantees or human rights.”
Cardus has done extensive work on understanding the depth, extent, and history of religious freedom in Canada, including through reports on:
- How pandemic policies affect houses of worship
- Evaluating reasonable limits on religious freedom
- An institutional history of religious freedom in Canada