Celebrating Christmas is evidence of 'colonial bias,' says Canadian human rights commission report

The discussion paper said that the only statutory holidays tied to religious occasions are Christian because of Canada's history of colonialism.

Celebrating Christmas is evidence of 'colonial bias,' says Canadian human rights commission report
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The Canadian Human Rights Commission issued a report calling Christmas discriminatory, according to a new story from Blacklock's Reporter.

The report “Discussion Paper on Religious Intolerance,” issued October 23, says that “discrimination against religious minorities in Canada is grounded in Canada’s history of colonialism.”

The discussion paper said that the only statutory holidays in Canada that are linked to religious holy days are Christian ones, including Christmas and Easter. Since non-Christian employees may need to request time off for religious holidays, this is considered an obvious example of “present day systemic religious discrimination” that is tied to Canada's history of colonialism. 

“As has often been said, no one is free until we are all free,” reads the report. “Many societies, including our own, have been constructed in a way that places value on certain traits or identities to the exclusion of others — for example, white, male, Christian, English-speaking, thin/fit, not having a disability, heterosexual, gender conforming. Because of this, many people and communities are facing various forms of discrimination, including intersecting forms of discrimination.”

The report also includes an exploration of intersectionality and concrete steps one can take to combat religious discrimination. 

Explicit references to Christmas and Christianity have been slowly disappearing in Canada in recent years. Ahead of Remembrance Day this year, military chaplains were instructed to be “respectful of... religious diversity” and not use religious symbols like the cross or Star of David. Canada's Office of the Chaplain General urged military chaplains to “adopt a sensitive and inclusive approach” which would not include mentions of God in ceremonies, either.

A 2021 federal court directive also removed all references to Christmas holidays from the court calendar. 

“Given that litigants before the Courts do not all celebrate Christmas an amendment is required to change references to the Court’s ‘Christmas recess’ to the more inclusive ‘seasonal recess,’” said the Courts Administration Service.

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