The House of Commons has unanimously adopted a Bloc Quebecois motion Thursday that denounces a recent discussion paper suggesting the Christmas statutory holiday amounts to “systemic religious discrimination.”
The motion, brought forward by Bloc Quebecois House Leader Alain Therrien, called for the House to denounce the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s (CHRC) paper.
The wording of the motion says that the House should “recall that Christmas is a tradition celebrated in Quebec and Canada” and “denounce the CHRC’s statement that ‘statutory holidays related to Christianity, including Christmas and Easter,’ represent an ‘obvious example’ of ‘systemic religious discrimination,’ and that this ‘discrimination against religious minorities in Canada is grounded in Canada’s history of colonialism.'”
It goes on to ask the House to “denounce all attempts to polarize events that have been part of Quebec and Canadian heritage for generations” and “invite all Quebecers and Canadians to unite as we approach the Christmas season.”
The motion comes a day after Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet brought up the Christmas statement contained in a CHRC discussion paper on religious intolerance published on Oct. 23. The statement is in a section that looks at examples of religious discrimination in Canada.
The CHRC told Global News Thursday it has no further comment at this time.
“Mr. Speaker, according to the prime minister, is Christmas racist?” Blanchet had asked in question period on Wednesday.
“I’m very pleased to stand up and try to answer a totally ridiculous question. Obviously, Christmas is not racist,” Trudeau replied.
The published paper pointed out that Christmas and Easter, both Christian holidays, are the only two religious statutory holidays in Canada.
“As a result, non-Christians may need to request special accommodations to observe their holy days and other times of the year when their religion requires them to abstain from work,” the paper said.
Quebec’s National Assembly unanimously denounced CHRC’s statement on Wednesday.
— with files from Global News’ David Baxter.
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