VoteSecular Response: andrew Lang, Liberal Party, Toronto-Danforth
1. Does your party support the separation of religion and state, and government neutrality in all matters between believer and non-believer?
Yes for the first and it depends on the circumstances for the second.
Freedom of Speech
2. Does your party believe there should be any legal limits on the criticism of religious opinion in the public square???
Whenever one right encroaches on another it becomes forfeit. Criticism is ok - hateful language is not.
3. Would your party support repealing the law against blasphemy in the Criminal Code of Canada?
Wasn't aware we still had one. I can't see any objection ot removing this anachronism.
4. ?What is your party?s position on granting people exemptions from neutral, generally applicable laws and policies based on their religious beliefs (e.g.?religious accommodation?)? It should not be alled religious accommodation but rather reasonable accommodation.
Reason should govern everything in Canada. This is a difficult question and requires an expert, non-partisan approach.
5. Does your party support granting an organization tax-exempt charitable status for the sole purpose of the ?advancement of eligion?, if such an organization undertakes no other charitable ctivity (e.g. feeding the poor)?
Advancement of religion is not a charitable act. If a religious organization acts as a charity there are means by which they can be exempted. It would never be the religious org ut rather their specific acts that would garner the ability to offer tax receipts etc.
6. Would your party support an amendment to the National Anthem Act to remove the reference to God in the lyrics of O Canada?
I doubt it. There are opinions on both sides within my Party so I believe this ould always be left up to the individual to vote their conscience.
Charter of Rights and Freedoms
7. Would your party support an amendment to the preamble of the anadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to remove the reference to the ?supremacy of God??
Same answer as above
8. What position does your party hold concerning the legally-binding use by religious communities of separate religious ourts (eg. in family law)?
Family law is strictly a provincial urisdiction but we can amend the criminal code to supercede it for things like polygamy etc.
Medicine and Health
9. Does your party support the requirement that all products labeled ?medicine?, including homeopathic or naturopathic remedies, be required to pass the same rigorous testing as pharmaceuticals?
I will ave to check with my Party to see what it says on this but I personally support any measure that protects residents from harm. Ensuring "medicine" is what it purports to be is just common sense. This also is provincial area and I believe most provinces are or have started regulating this.
10. Does your party support vaccination as a good public health measure?
This has to be taken on a case by case basis. We can not mandate some vaccines unless the health of the general population is at isk. I know this is not an answer but it is all I have on this one.