Canadian Secularists Send Questions to Party Offices

April 21, 2011

The following letter was sent to the national party offices for the Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Green and Bloc Quebecois Parties.  PDF version

Responses will be provided on our website here. Please feel free to use this document in its entirety or by choosing specific questions for local use, but we encourage you to reference the Centre for Inquiry in your correspondence and its national coordination of this initiative. Also, please send responses to

Below we've provided contact information if you wish to be in touch with the parties to encourage them to answer these important questions.

The Centre for Inquiry is a registered educational charity which promotes reason, science, secularism, and freedom of inquiry.  We are also Canada’s most vocal organization representing atheists, agnostics and secular humanists, who constitute one of the fastest growing minorities in Canada. According to a 2008 Harris-Decima poll, roughly one quarter of Canadians are atheists and agnostics.

The Centre for Inquiry represents a membership of over 1,000 individuals, and is constituted of 10 branches in the cities of Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.

In partnership with the Canadian Secular Alliance – a national non-profit organization seeking church-state separation and government neutrality with respect to religion – we have prepared the following
set of questions. The responses we receive will be posted, without modification, to our website and circulated to our members.

We understand that some of the questions reference propositions that might be complicated to implement, but we are looking for your position on the principles they embody.

Given how busy you are, we trust you appreciate the unique opportunity this request grants of reaching a community that until recently had little organized presence, and we thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Justin Trottier
National Executive Director
Centre for Inquiry Canada


1. Does your party support the separation of religion and state, and government neutrality in all matters between believer and non-believer?

Freedom of Speech

2. Does your party believe there should be any legal limits on the criticism of religious opinion in the public square?

3. Would your party support repealing the law against blasphemy in the Criminal Code of Canada?

Religious accommodations

4. "What is your party's position on granting people exemptions from neutral, generally applicable laws and policies based on their religious beliefs (e.g."religious accommodation")?

Charity status

5. Does your party support granting an organization tax-exempt charitable status for the sole purpose of the "advancement of religion", if such an organization undertakes no other charitable activity (e.g. feeding the poor)?


6. Would your party support an amendment to the National Anthem Act to remove the reference to God in the lyrics of O Canada?

Charter of Rights and Freedoms

7. Would your party support an amendment to the preamble of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to remove the reference to the “supremacy of God”?

Religious law

8. What position does your party hold concerning the legally-binding use by religious communities of separate religious courts (eg. in family law)?

Medicine and Health
9. Does your party support the requirement that all products labeled "medicine", including homeopathic or naturopathic remedies, be required to pass the same rigorous testing as pharmaceuticals?

10. Does your party support vaccination as a good public health measure?

Contact Information 

 Liberal Party of Canada
(613) 237-0740
81 Metcalfe Street, Suite 600, Ottawa, ON, K1P 6M8

Conservative Party of Canada 
#1204-130 Albert Street, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5G4

New Democrat Party of Canada
300-279 Laurier West, Ottawa, ON K1P 5J9

Green Party of Canada
PO Box 997, Station B, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5R1a

Bloc Quebecois Party
514 526-3000
3730 Boulevard Cremazie East, Montreal QC, H2A 1B4