Support Grows for Religious Freedom and Conscience Rights


But Canadians are more likely to see this fundamental freedom getting weaker rather than stronger


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:

Access the full report and details on methodology at the Angus Reid Institute website. For interviews, please, contact Daniel Proussalidis at or call 613-899-5174.


Daniel Proussalidis
Cardus – Director of Communications

About Cardus
Cardus is a non-partisan think tank dedicated to clarifying and strengthening, through research and dialogue, the ways in which society’s institutions can work together for the common good.


Cardus is a non-partisan, not-for-profit public policy think tank focused on the following areas: education, family, work & economics, communities, end-of-life care, and religious freedom. It conducts independent and original research, produces several periodicals, and regularly stages events with Senior Fellows and interested constituents across Canada and the U.S.