“Parents are free to pass their personal beliefs on to their children if they so wish. However, the early exposure of children to realities that differ from those in their immediate family environment is a fact of life in society,” Judge Deschamps wrote.
“The suggestion that exposing children to a variety of religious facts in itself infringes their religious freedom or that of their parents amounts to a rejection of the multicultural reality of Canadian society and ignores the Quebec government’s obligations with regard to public education.”
Such exposure “can be a source of friction,” she acknowledged, but it does not violate the children’s or parents’ freedom of religion.
The course’s 2008 introduction was the final step in the secularization of Quebec schooling that began with a 1997 constitutional amendment replacing denominational school boards with linguistic ones.
It was met with protest marches in some cities, and hundreds of parents asked that their children be exempted from attending the class. All such requests were refused.
The curriculum, taught from Grade 1 through Grade 11, covers a broad range of world religions, with particular emphasis on Quebec’s religious heritage — Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism and aboriginal spirituality.
The bolded quotation from Justice Deschamps is what's most disheartening. Multiculturalism is enshrined in our constitution. In particular in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The most depressing part is that Justice Deschamps isn't wrong. Section 27 of the Charter states "27. This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.". So much for our English and French heritage. Thank you Trudeau. Thank you for re-defining Canada based on your own morally relativist and socialist ideals.
The mother, known by her initials S.L., said she was saddened by the ruling but maintains hope the government will soften its stance and grant exemptions to parents who do not wish their children to follow the course.
“We live in a secular society, and that is good,” she said. “But as individuals, can we not have solid religious convictions and historic roots? How far do we go in trying to be welcoming and tolerant? Where we lose our own identity?”
I wonder how many other Canadians think this way? Its heartening to see that at least one Quebec parent does.