Saanich council is heading down a treacherous road by joining the BC Humanist Association’s campaign against municipal tax exemptions for religious communities.
Concerns about public benefits and inclusivity are mere window dressing for the humanists ongoing vendetta against religion.
The beauty of Canada is that we are free to believe (or not believe) what we want. But the humanists want to place burdens on those who believe differently from them, which is the polar opposite of the inclusivity they supposedly espouse.
The notion that a municipality could impose standards of inclusivity on a house of worship is not only ludicrous, but is close to violating our Charter of Rights.
The diversity of faiths represented in Saanich are by their very nature exclusive, because they require that their members subscribe of a specific set of beliefs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
The majority of permissive tax exemptions are in fact for non-religious community groups who are equally exclusive, such as clubs for soccer players or for people from the Netherlands.
It makes no more sense to require the Jewish Community Centre to allow anti-Semitic rallies on their property than to force the Girl Guides to allow grown men to join, or the rowing club to be accessible to quadriplegics.
If Saanich pushes this, they will end up in court, at taxpayers’ expense. If Saanich wants to save tax dollars, increasing red tape and hiring constitutional lawyers is probably not the way to do it.