The reigning sovereign of Canada is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Granted, the Monarch's role in the Government and the Church is largely ceremonial, but the truth remains that Canada is ruled by a Christian Monarch.

Complete separation of religion and state should effectively remove the Queen from even her ceremonial role in government.

If the Queen is the Supreme Governor of the mother church of the Anglican Communion, then why am I not allowed to post "Merry Christmas" on our signage at a government funded university? Is there technically separation of religion and state in Canada? Or is it another policy that we seem to think applies to us because of the USA?

2 Answers 2


The US has the first amendment and many supreme court cases that formally establishes a separation of church and state legal philosophy in our country.

Canada differs in that they do not have a formal declaration of this in their charter. However they do have a "Freedom of Religion" statement.

As always, this is all open to interpretation in the courts (as it is here still in the US as well). Some have interpreted that to also mean a "freedom from religion".

As to why your University doesn't allow you to do what you want you'd have to bring that up with your administration but if I had to guess, it's that interpreting things in the courts can get rather expensive and at the end of the day, saving a buck loonie is usually what it's all about.


As you say, it may be because of cultural influence from the US that it's popularly believed that it's guaranteed by law, but it's not. Strictly speaking the country doesn't have an official religion, but still there's no clear legal separation between church and state. However, this is less important because it's seen as improper to make religion anything other than a private matter (somewhat the inverse of the US). It may simply be that your university doesn't want to court criticism by going outside of accepted norms.

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