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Education & Resources



MANITOBA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION                                          POLICY # I-13
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS’ POLICY                                                 version 1.1

SECTION:  Interpretation                                                                            Effective date: February 6, 2002

                                                                                                                       REVISED DATE: April 6, 2016    


This policy is intended to assist in the interpretation of “religion or creed, or religious belief, religious association or religious activity” referred to in Section 9 of The Human Rights Code (“The Code”).  Where there is any conflict between this policy and The Code, The Code prevails.


The concepts of “religion or creed, or religious belief, religious association or religious activity” will be given a broad and purposive interpretation based on the policy considerations underlying The Code which operate to prevent and eliminate discrimination against individuals or groups. 

The Code recognizes both the presence and absence of a religion, creed, religious belief, religious association or religious activity.

For the purposes of The Code, “religion” or “creed” is understood to mean beliefs that are:

  • freely, deeply and sincerely held;
  • integrally linked to a person’s identity;
  • based in a comprehensive and particular system of beliefs that addresses questions of human existence or the divine;
  • consisting of a set of practices and activities that govern a person’s conduct, and
  • including an association to an organization or community that shares the belief system. 

The Commission adopts the approach set out in Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem, 2004 SCC 47, which establishes that a person seeking protection under The Code on the basis of a religious or creed-based belief, association or practice must demonstrate that it is “sincerely held.”     

In accordance with the objectives underlying The Code, it is not necessary to establish any requirement or practice of a religion or creed and it is recognized that a person’s religious or creed-based practices and associations may change and evolve over time.


“Yvonne Peters”                         April 6, 2016           
Chairperson                               Date


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