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Introduction Here is a recent headline from the news in Canada: “Quebec bans religious symbols for state workers in new law” (The Canadian Press, 2019, headline) This controversial law prohibits the display of any religious symbols by public-sector workers in the workplace in Quebec. Wait a minute. What about one of Canadians’ fundamental freedoms of freedom of conscience and religion – as protected by federal law (i.e., Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms)? This is supposed to guarantee Canadians’ the freedom and right to practice their religion, including wearing religious attire to work, no? Indeed, the headlines in the news since the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms were enshrined in 1982 suggest that Canadians’ freedom of conscience/religion is often challenged – and not just in Quebec. (See below for several links to related news stories.) Assignment Question What do you think? Do you think freedom of religion/conscience in Canada truly exists? Make your argument in this essay: Yes? No? Or both yes and no (i.e., it is not black and white)? Why? You must support your argument with reference to three different case studies that have occurred since the establishment of the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms. This will require that you conduct online research into related news stories in Canada. Below are several links to (mostly) case studies to help you get started and that you may reference for your essay: Useful Links Canadian government definition of freedom of conscience/religion Excellent brief history of freedom of religion/conscience issues in Canada Quebec bans religious symbols for public servants Jehovah’s Witness vs. blood transfusion (1) Jehovah’s Witness vs. blood transfusion (2) Sikh kirpan in Quebec Sikh turban in Quebec Muslim hijab in soccer game Muslim niqab in legal courts Muslim niqab in courtroom (2) Christian Hutterites & driver’s licence Christian law school? Indigenous sacred land vs. development Aboriginal girl vs. chemotherapy (1) Aboriginal girl vs. chemotherapy (2) Buddhist swastikas – should they be permitted? Hasidic Jews & condominium building Big M Drug Mart vs. Lord’s Day Act Conscience rights of doctors Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster and driver’s licence Structure Your essay must be structured properly. This means you must have an introductory paragraph(s) with a clear thesis statement, followed by multiple paragraphs that form the body of the essay and which support your argument/thesis statement, and you must end with a concluding paragraph(s). References You must cite a minimum of four sources, one of which must be an academic work (book or journal) using APA citation (MLA citation style also acceptable). All of your citations must be both in-text and enlisted in a separate sheet entitled “Works Cited” attached to the end of the essay. Guide to APA citation: https://seneca.libguides.com/apa Essay Length Minimum: 1,500 words, double-spaced

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