Lecture at: 03/10/2014
C LASS N OTES FOR : 3NN6
McMaster University, Fall 2013
T UESDAY , F EBRUARY 11, 2014
(c) Medical Treatment of Children
B(R) v. Children’s Aid Soc.  1 SCR 315
- B(R) - Identification of child for protection under the court system
o Sick child, who required a blood transfusion
o Parents refused to give the child blood transfusion on the grounds of religion
o Doctors considered the child to be in danger and made a case to have the child in the
hand of the children’s association custody and removed the child from his parents.
o The doctors gave him the blood transfusion and returned him back to the parents
o Despite the fact, after returning the child to his parents, the doctors considered it over,
but he parents did not.
o That the right for the parents to choose treatment of their child according to religious
beliefs and as such the violation of their rights as provided by their court order was a
serious infringement to religion, but justified under section 1.
Minority decision held that there were limits on freedom of religion.
Risk of harm associated with religious freedom will negate religious freedom!
Risk of harm within the context of section 1 analysis. When there is risk to
someone the gov’t has easier case in meeting section 1 analysis.
o This is a broad interpretation of the right to religious freedom.
(d) Risk of Harm to Others
Ross v. NBSD No. 15  1 SCR 825
- AFTER B(R) case
- Ross - Schoolteacher who was disseminating the opinion that Christian civilization was
being destroyed by an International Jewish conspiracy.
- Difference between Ross and Keegstra, was that Ross was not teaching this to his students.
- Ross described these writings as his honest religious statements
- After a series of complaints by students and parents
- Board of inquiry found that his public pronouncements were offensive and removed him
from his teaching position
o Further caveat that his tenure of employment would be terminated if he continued his
o Sought judicial review and went to Supreme Court of Canada
o Who upheld the removal from his teaching position, but the struck the order that
further activity would lead to his termination
Order violated freedom of religion and expression
Found both of aspects violated his section 2(a) rights.
o However, under section 1, they justified the removal from the classroom because it
may cause a risk of harm to children.
Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem
- Clear test for freedom of religion
Angie © McMaster University 1
Winter 2014 Lecture at: 03/10/2014
- Amselem and three other orthodox jews lived in a building in Montreal.As part of one of
their religious holidays / celebrations, they were required to live in small and enclosed
temporary huts located outdoors. Because they could not erect these huts in their balcony,
they used a common area. This was for the purpose of fulfilling their obligation during this 9
days religious festival. The condo board requested that they’d remove these temporary huts,
as they were contrary to the condominium by-laws, when Mr.Amselem and his colleagues
refused to do so, it obtained a court order.
- In the context the court set out the scope of religious freedom and commented on risk of
harm to others. In order to claim in freedom of religion
o FOUR STAGE TEST
o (1) It has to be a religious practice
o (2) It has to have a nexus or a connection to the religion claimed
o (3) There has to be a sincere belief on the part of the individual claiming that the
practice is required in order to conform to the faith
o (4) It has to be a non-trivial or a significant interference with the faith to prohibit the
- It comes down to the court to make this determination
- The individual all they have to do is demonstrate that this activity is a requirement in order to