“Through the recitation of the prayer at issue during the municipal council’s public meetings, the respondents are consciously adhering to certain religious beliefs to the exclusion of all others. In so doing, they are breaching the state’s duty of neutrality.” - The Supreme Court of Canada 2015
The second annual Iftar dinner, marking the breaking the fast of Ramadan, was held at Toronto City Hall on 29 May 2018 at approximately 9 in the evening.
It is interesting that the Toronto City Hall would allow this to happen, as it appears to be a clear violation of a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on exactly this sort of issue. The Supreme Court decision, based on a city hall case in Quebec, ruled that the state must be neutral and “This neutrality requires that the state neither favour nor hinder any particular belief.”
All of this would be interesting in itself, but there is an ironic side to this story as well. Clearly written into the invitation to the event and with a large poster in City Hall Chambers is Islamic Relief Canada. The large poster was in the centre of the podium where it could not be missed. The power point type presentation, up during the speech of Councillor Shan, also features the Islamic Relief Canada logo.
Councilor Neethan Shan contact number: +1 (416) 392-4078
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