Date of Award
Master of Laws (LLM)
Benjamin L. Berger
This thesis proposes an answer to the question of when, and under what conditions, a state operating within the framework of liberal constitutionalism may legitimately condition receipt of public benefits on the recipient's conformity with liberal values—a question that is implicitly asked, but never directly answered, by the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Law Society of British Columbia v Trinity Western University. How this question is answered has significant implications for the law of religious freedom in Canada. This thesis posits a conceptual distinction between two types of public benefit: public licences and public mandates. This distinction is animated by the principles of 1) tolerance and 2) respect for individual self-actualisation, which together form the core of liberal constitutionalism. This thesis argues that only access to public mandates may be made contingent on conformity with liberal values.
Boissonneault, Robert Stephen, "Accepting the Unacceptable: Trinity Western University, Religious Freedom, and the Meaning of Liberal Constitutionalism" (2022). LLM Theses. 61.