Ottawa: The Commissioners of the National Citizens Inquiry say it’s time for a comprehensive national dialogue to take place involving the church and Canadians who firmly believe the church is foundational and necessary for the social and economic well-being within communities. The Commissioners’ Final Report on the response to COVID-19, released today, says “The church is uniquely qualified and capable of making decisions that impact the social fabric.”
As a recommendation, “Churches and citizens are encouraged to create a public policy watch for any legislation that potentially negates the rights and freedoms of faith groups.” The Report says, “The attempt to silence religious speech over the last three years should not go unnoticed.”
The Report discusses Canadians inalienable right to worship. The Commissioners note that the preamble to the Constitution formally recognizes Canada is founded upon principles that recognize both the Supremacy of God and rule of law. “This means every right and freedom guaranteed within the Charter are formally declared to be founded upon these two principles. In sum, these prefatory words are the grounding point which inevitably holds this nation together. It is equally important to note the founding fathers relied on the same tenets in establishing Canada’s original Constitution, the British North America Act.”
The report states, “In the interest of clarity, it is important to understand that the Supremacy of God and rule of law must concurrently hold true. If neither aligns perfectly, or there is a movement of either the Supremacy of God or rule of law taking precedence over the other, the result is a broken democracy. Why? Because the rule of law is no longer subject to the Supremacy of God (spiritual) and vice-versa, the supremacy of God is no longer beholden to lawful interpretation (political / judicial).”
The Report also includes these recommendations:
- Every individual has an inherent right to end-of-life spiritual and / or pastoral care or God at the bedside services, that align with their specific faith. Therefore, all publicly funded institutions, including hospitals, and long-term care facilities must comply.
- Courts must accept deeply held beliefs for religious convictions and respect that not every citizen, when writing an affidavit to support their views, is familiar with conveying the breadth and depth of their convictions in a manner that would overwhelmingly influence the court.
- Bail conditions must be reasonable and fair and cannot prevent an individual from performing their employment duties and responsibilities. This includes pastoral service within a religious context.
- The prevailing belief that there is a higher spiritual accountability in this life that determines our individual standing for eternal life cannot and should not be negated by government or judiciary.
Digital copies of the Report are available at https://nationalcitizensinquiry.ca/commissioners-report/. Media inquiries concerning the National Citizens Inquiry should be directed to: [email protected].