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Document Details :
Title: Policy, Integration, Action, and Social Inclusion in Canada
Author(s): BEAMAN, Lori G.
Journal: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue
Volume: 25 Issue: 2 Date: 2015
This article considers the dominant discourse of tolerance and accommodation for governing religious diversity in Canada and argues that it is inadequate if we wish to achieve a truly inclusive society. The article explores the ways in which religion becomes part of governance projects, and argues that the idea of religion as something to be regulated accounts in part for the dominance of tolerance and accommodation language. The historical context in which this language developed is discussed, as well as the existence of competing frameworks, including equality. The chapter considers the meaning of social inclusion and links passive inclusion to formal equality and active inclusion to substantive or deep equality. Recent Canadian case law from the Supreme Court of Canada, the Bouchard-Taylor Commission in Quebec, and emerging issues around religion in the Canadian context are used to develop and illustrate the argument that active inclusion must employ a deep equality model. Finally, some reflections on the Canadian situation in global context are included, particularly around the similarity of discourses of governance and the abandonment of equality, except in the strictly formal sense, as a conceptual touchstone in public discourse and as a legal standard in religion cases.