In the second edition of Legislative Prayer Across Canada, we update our original report to include the move in October 2021 by Nova Scotia to replace its practice of beginning sittings with the Lord's Prayer with a moment of silent reflection. We will continue to update the report in the future as other legislature amend their practices.
Canada is often viewed as a diverse and multicultural country. Multiculturalism and ‘freedom of conscience and religion’ are enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. From this, the Supreme Court of Canada has established that Canada is a secular country through what has been called the state’s duty of religious neutrality. Nevertheless, legislative assemblies across Canada continue to begin each day’s sitting with a prayer, which is most often Christian in nature.
Here we provide an overview of the diverse practices that surround legislative prayer across Canada today.
Feel free to download and share our infographic on social media:
1st edition: August 27, 2020
Report first published
2nd edition: December 13, 2021
Updated to include changes to the practice in Nova Scotia