In a 1985 Supreme Court case involving the Lord’s Day Act, R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., Chief Justice Brian Dickson said that religious freedom in Canada includes freedom of religious speech, including “the right to entertain such religious beliefs as a person chooses, the right to declare religious beliefs openly and without fear of hindrance or reprisal, and the right to manifest religious belief by worship and practice or by teaching and dissemination.
“Canada has laws prohibiting the promotion of hatred against sections of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation. However, there are exemptions in the Bill which permit the expression of opinions on religious subjects and opinions based on religious texts which would otherwise be prohibited.In 1996, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the anti-Semitic publications of a New Brunswick schoolteacher, challenged under provincial Human Rights Act, were protected by his right to freedom of religion, but that professional sanctions were a reasonable limit on that right, to maintain “a school system that is free from bias, prejudice and intolerance.”
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