Human Rights Commission faces backlash over controversial anti-Christmas report

The report took aim at Christmas, calling it a discriminatory practice since it observed Jesus’ birth.

Human rights commission rocked by threats, complaints after publishing report attacking Christmas
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The Canadian Human Rights Commission was taken aback by backlash and even feared for its staff's safety after publishing a report calling Christmas racist.

An access to information request showed that a lone staffer in the Commission's Policy, Research, and International Division created the report, titled “Discussion Paper on Religious Intolerance,” Blacklock's Reporter reports.

The name of the author, who spent two years revising the paper, was not made public.

“The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this part that contains information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety of individuals," the reason for the withheld information proclaimed. 

“The paper is intended to be a public resource acknowledging this issue in Canada and giving a very high-level overview,” an internal memo read. The report was reviewed by a “network of stakeholders for advancing racial equality” and a “Decolonization and Anti-Racism Consultation Committee” prior to publication.

The report took aim at Christmas, calling it a discriminatory practice since it observed Jesus’ birth. “Discrimination against religious minorities in Canada is grounded in Canada’s history of colonialism,” it said. “This history manifests itself in present-day systemic religious discrimination. An obvious example is statutory holidays in Canada.”

“Statutory holidays related to Christianity, including Christmas and Easter, are the only Canadian statutory holidays linked to religious holy days,” it continued. “As a result, non-Christians may need to request special accommodation to observe their holy days.”

The paper was met with praise from within the department but was criticized and condemned by elected officials.

“Great job!” wrote Tabatha Tranquilla, director of policy. “Super clear and informative!” another executive wrote.

“Congrats to all for getting these important materials into final form!” wrote Human Rights Commissioner Charlotte-Anne Malischewski.

In the House of Commons, however, a motion led by the Bloc Quebecois passed unanimously condemning the paper. The motion asked Parliament to denounce the Canadian Human Rights Commission's comments and “any attempt at polarization” over Christmas.

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