Parliament has now on multiple occasions denounced the Canadian Human Rights Commission for calling the celebration of Christmas 'racist.'
In a Discussion Paper On Religious Intolerance, the Commission singled out Christmas being a statutory holiday as an example of religious discrimination since it is Christian, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.
"Canada’s history with religious intolerance is deeply rooted in our identity as a settler colonial state," it said. Parliament has observed Christmas since 1867.
Christmas observances in Canada pre-date Confederation and first occurred as early as 1641, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia. Census figures show a majority of Canadian adults, more than 19 million, identify as Christian.
"If we want to end religious intolerance it is important that we understand it," said the Discussion Paper. "Most importantly we need to listen and amplify the voices of people with lived experience. They are the ones who have been fighting the longest for systemic change."
MPs on November 29 condemned the report calling Christmas "an obvious example" of intolerance and colonialism. They said people must be free to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ without fear of discrimination.
"According to the Canadian Human Rights Commission the simple celebration of Christmas — the tree, the family, the music, the gifts — is systemic racism," said Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet. "I wonder if good old Santa Claus is racist. I wonder if snow has become racist," he added.
Blanchet asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to explain the Discussion Paper. "Is Christmas racist?" he asked. Trudeau replied: "Obviously Christmas is not racist."
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the report said analyzing Christian bias is key to ending intolerance.
"No one is free until we are all free," wrote the Commission, calling Christmas an example of valuing "white, male, Christian" identities to the exclusion of others.
"Discrimination against religious minorities in Canada is grounded in Canada’s history of colonialism," wrote the Commission. "This history manifests itself in present day systemic religious discrimination. An obvious example is statutory holidays in Canada."
Blanchet countered that he would be celebrating Christmas with a few dozen Quebecers of immigrant backgrounds. "Should I cancel because, according to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, celebrating Christmas is racist?"
"No," replied Trudeau. "We all need to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, all the different festivals."
Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre interjected: "Allow me to be the first of the season to wish everybody a merry Christmas. We love our great Canadian traditions including Christmas."
"On this side of the House we stand for Christmas," replied the Prime Minister.
On November 30, the House unanimously condemned the report, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.
"It is still incredible we have to remind people Christmas is not discriminatory," said Bloc Québécois House Leader Alain Therrien, sponsor of the motion. "Everyone agrees on the importance of this."
The motion asked that MPs denounce the polarizing report and "unite during this Christmas period." The House united amid shouts of "Merry Christmas!"
Poilievre said the "rich cultural traditions Christians and many other Canadians share at this special time" should be honoured. "Affirm their right to celebrate freely," he added.