O Canada in Schools Project

February 15, 2019 - 12:00 am

SCS is asking public school boards across Canada, starting with Ontario to make accommodations for non-believing students in the same way they accommodate the practice of religious beliefs in the school system.

Here is what we are asking:
1. Given that daily opening ceremonies include playing O Canada over the PA system, SCS is asking that the right to freedom from religion be protected by playing instrumental versions of O Canada until non-theist versions of the lyrics are available,

2. given that students are sometimes asked to memorize O Canada in either official language as a class assignment, we ask that non-believing students are allowed to memorize the non-theist words available at: http://www.secularconnexion.ca/a-national-anthem-for-everyone/

We have already contacted the directors of education for every public school board in Ontario and are contacting every public school board chairperson.

When we have made contact with all Ontario public school boards, we will begin contacting public school boards in other provinces. We are also working toward getting the National Anthems Act of 1980 changed to remove theist words from the lyrics.

We anticipate that, ultimately, changes will be made when a parent or parents ask that the human rights tribunal hear the case for these accommodations. This could result in court challenges and even a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on the National Anthems Act itself.