Canada, Ontario Religious Practice Legal Opinion

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in Canada, Canada Indigenous Practice, Native American Liberties, State Massage and Religious Law | 0 comments

Canada, Ontario Religious Practice Legal Opinion

We do not recommend practicing healing arts in Ontario, Canada unless you are an ONACS Authorized FullOpen Blessed Member and or Licentiate.

1) The Ontario Human Rights Commission – the OHRC (1961): Ontario’s Human Rights Code:  Indigenous peoples in Ontario, including status, non-status, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples are included in these protections.  http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/ontario-human-rights-code

The Code prohibits discrimination and harassment based on 17 different personal attributes – called grounds:
•    age
•    ancestry
•    citizenship
•    colour
•    creed (including Indigenous spiritual religious practices)
•    disability
•    ethnic origin
•    family status
•    gender identity
•    gender expression
•    marital status
•    place of origin
•    race
•    receipt of public assistance (in housing only)
•    record of offences (in employment only)
•    sex (includes pregnancy and breastfeeding)
•    sexual orientation.

Section 18 of Ontario’s Human Rights Code says:
The rights under Part I to equal treatment with respect to services and facilities, with or without accommodation, are not infringed where membership or participation in a religious, philanthropic, educational, fraternal or social institution or organization that is primarily engaged in serving the interests of persons identified by a prohibited ground of discrimination is restricted to persons who are similarly identified.

The Ontario Human Rights Code is under the The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter)[2] http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/book/export/html/4264
Section d) specifies…
Canada has signed on to many international human rights Conventions, documents and treaties.
Examples include:
•    Universal Declaration of Human Rights
•    International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
•    International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
•    International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
•    International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Additionally,  Section 2. “The Code prevails over other laws”
section b) “Supremacy of the Code” states the Human Rights code should be considered important , more than other laws as it is “quasi-constitutional”

Freedom of Religion OHRC http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/religious-rights-fact-sheet
“Religion includes the practices, beliefs and observances that are part of a faith or religion. It does not include personal moral, ethical or political views. Nor does it include religions that promote violence or hate towards others, or that violate criminal law.”

Ontario Religious Freedom Act: R.S.O. 1990, Chapter R.22 https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90r22

“Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Free exercise of religious profession, etc., guaranteed
1. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, provided the same be not made an excuse for acts of licentiousness, or a justification of practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the Province, is by the constitution and laws of this Province assured to all Her Majesty’s subjects within the same. R.S.O. 1990, c. R.22, s. 1.”

Exemptions:
Essential Medicines and Health Products Information Portal A World Health Organization resource:
The America’s/ Canada

Traditional Native North American medicine

In the Yukon Territory, the Health Act of 1990 (98) endorses traditional native North American medical practices. Section 5 includes provisions to secure “aboriginal control over traditional aboriginal nutritional and healing practices and to protect these healing practices as a viable alternative for seekers of health and healing services”. The Minister of Health also “promote(s) mutual understanding, knowledge, and respect between providers of health and social services offered within the health and social service system and the providers of aboriginal nutrition and healing”.

In Ontario (99), traditional birth attendants providing midwifery services to aboriginal persons or members of an aboriginal community are exempt from the general rule that restricts “managing labour or conducting the delivery of a baby” to allopathic physicians, nurses, and midwives. Traditional birth attendants can adopt the title “Aboriginal Midwife” as a professional designation and portray themselves as qualified to practise in Ontario.

Manipulative Therapy

Paragraph two: “No offence is committed under the Health Professions Act when an otherwise impermissible joint movement is performed in the course of “treating a person by prayer or spiritual means in accordance with the tenets of the religion of the person giving the treatment” or where the treatment is performed by an aboriginal medical practitioner providing traditional medicine services to aboriginal persons or members of an aboriginal community.”

Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, S.O. 1991, c. 18
RHPA Exemptions:

Ch. 29. (c) treating a person by prayer or spiritual means in accordance with the tenets of the religion of the person giving the treatment;

Counseling: (2) Subsection 27 (1) does not apply with respect to a communication made in the course of counseling about emotional, social, educational or spiritual matters as long as it is not a communication that a health profession Act authorizes members to make.  1991, c. 18, s. 29.
Authors Note: Clearly Canada and specifically Ontario support freedom of  religion and religious expression (practices, beliefs and observances). Discrimination and or violation of these clearly established rights to practice is against the law “Regardless of the religion”. The above referenced Canada and Ontario Province Code also stress these religious protections extend to Native, Indigenous and “Aboriginal” religious practices and expression which are also healing and therapeutic.  These protections include counseling.

Expression and practice with persons household members, family members are protected as well.

Recommendation:
A) Be clear in communication and all advertising that your practicing Indigenous, traditional “Aboriginal” religious expression and medicine. Use accurate and clear statements about who you are, what your authorizations are and use the proper names, terms, trademarks etc. on all of your communications.

B) Only work on members.

C) Keep documentation… membership, consent form etc.

D) Do not violate any of the CONTROLLED ACTS under Prohibitions (Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, S.O. 1991, c. 18)

as defined in the Regulated Health Professions Act…

(2) A “controlled act” is any one of the following done with respect to an individual:
1. Communicating to the individual or his or her personal representative a diagnosis identifying a disease or disorder as the cause of symptoms of the individual in circumstances in which it is reasonably foreseeable that the individual or his or her personal representative will rely on the diagnosis.
2. Performing a procedure on tissue below the dermis, below the surface of a mucous membrane, in or below the surface of the cornea, or in or below the surfaces of the teeth, including the scaling of teeth.
3. Setting or casting a fracture of a bone or a dislocation of a joint.
4. Moving the joints of the spine beyond the individual’s usual physiological range of motion using a fast, low amplitude thrust.
5. Administering a substance by injection or inhalation.
6. Putting an instrument, hand or finger,
i. beyond the external ear canal,
ii. beyond the point in the nasal passages where they normally narrow,
iii. beyond the larynx,
iv. beyond the opening of the urethra,
v. beyond the labia majora,
vi. beyond the anal verge, or
vii. into an artificial opening into the body.
7. Applying or ordering the application of a form of energy prescribed by the regulations under this Act.
8. Prescribing, dispensing, selling or compounding a drug as defined in the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, or supervising the part of a pharmacy where such drugs are kept.
9. Prescribing or dispensing, for vision or eye problems, subnormal vision devices, contact lenses or eye glasses other than simple magnifiers.
10. Prescribing a hearing aid for a hearing impaired person.
11. Fitting or dispensing a dental prosthesis, orthodontic or periodontal appliance or a device used inside the mouth to protect teeth from abnormal functioning.
12. Managing labour or conducting the delivery of a baby.
13. Allergy challenge testing of a kind in which a positive result of the test is a significant allergic response.  1991, c. 18, s. 27 (2); 2007, c. 10, Sched. L, s. 32.

SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Therapy (An ONACS Indigenous, Traditional “Aboriginal” religious practice) performed by ONAC Tribal Organization and Lay and or Ordained Minister is our religious expression and or religious profession. is protected practice under Canadian constitution, Province of Ontario Religious Freedoms Act, Human Rights Acts and Regulated Health Professions Acts. Additionally as our indigenous and native “aboriginal” and spiritually based. ministry, service and healing practices are not secular manipulation as defined by Canadian law nor derivative of any form of “Swedish” anything, being direct derivative of indigenous traditional medicine practices are no the practice of Massage and or Massage Therapy or any other regulated profession.

Based on a review of relevant Canadian, Ontario, Religious, Human Rights, Professional Regulation and Massage Law and other relevant statute we find that the free exercise of Native American Religious Practices including indigenous, traditional, “aboriginal”, natural and spiritually based healing practices as authorized by ONACS are clearly permitted. It is very clear that Ontario, Canada has intention to honor, respect and to protect the free expression of religion and religious practice as well Personal Rights, Right to Assemble and Freedom of Speech.  Our practice of Native American, Aboriginal, traditional Religious expression and sacred practices is equally if not a genuine expression of our religion. The expression of our Spirit and God ordered sacerdotal duties to perform ceremonies including healing ritual, sacred medicines and remedies, counseling and healing the sick and dieting, and the sharing of the spiritual values of love, compassion, joy and equanimity in honor of all sacred things and all sacred beings is healed as some of our core religious values and expressions thereof.

ONACS Sacred Medicine persons in the regular course of their sacred duties administering to the needy, sick and poor as well as while sharing, participating and or otherwise exercising their religious rights and responsibilities are protected as Native American religion practitioners and church members, as clergy and as practitioners of healing arts.

Do Not Advertise for “Massage, Massage Therapy, Bodywork” or any specialty or words that infer a restricted modality that infers that it is a practice of the aforementioned terms unless you have a Washington State Massage License in hand! Ignorance of the law is no defense! You must disclose your a minister as the basis for any and all services being rendered!

Please Note: Even if you have an Ontario License it does NOT protect you from practicing outside of your scope of practice! For example if you are not a religious practitioner of conscience such as an ONACS Authorized Practitioner and if you market services using any of the above proscripted words such as “Massage”, “Bodywork” etc. Such as generic “Thai Massage”

Please note: Just because we allow Licensed Massage Therapist to participate or to gain Certification in SomaVeda® Thai Yoga or Thai Massage (slang), does not make or redefine our sacred medicine and or healing practices into the practice of massage!

Furthermore, ONACS member ministers, medicine men and or woman are restrained from advertising or promoting prohibited services such as massage, massage therapy, bodywork etc. to the public. It is recommended the following statement be prominently displayed on all advertising “Please note: [ ONACS Authorized Member Name] does not see or provide services to the Public. Private specialized ministerial services and or counseling provided exclusively by and to ONACS Authorized members. Active ONACS APM membership required for any and all consultations and or services, exchanges etc. (Any and all titles displayed under religious privilege unless otherwise indicated)”  We understand that uneducated persons may misconstrue, misunderstand or be confused by the legal jurisdictions, principles, rights and responsibilities that we hold as healers. So it is in every one’s vital interest to to learn the legal basis for their practice and follow all ONACS directed procedures in their particular ministry.

All ONACS ministers are directed to include laying on of hands, Chirothesia, energy and spiritual, ceremonial and sacramental modalities, natural healing, Yoga Therapy and or any other ONACS authorized healing / wellness generative and supportive modality as part of their regular duties.

There limits to what ONACS Member Practitioners can practice!

ONACS Religious, Spiritual, Alternative and or Chirothesia Healthcare Practices are not the Practice of Medicine as defined by Canada and Province Code!
•[Practitioner/ Member] does not diagnose or prescribe for medical or psychological conditions nor claim to prevent, treat, mitigate or cure such conditions.
• [Practitioner/ Member] does not provide diagnosis, care, treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles.

You have constitutional rights which are listed in the legal section of this web site. Please read and understand them as law enforcement and competing secular therapist in most cases will be unfamiliar with them. Laws vary from state to state, country and or province and it is important for you to understand your legal right to participate in the sacraments of the ONACS. ONACS does not support violation of the law. The ONACS does not have a legal fund to defend you but does have all of the documentation to support you in your earnest desire to participate as the spirit dictates so long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others and is in accordance with the ONACS mission statement and Authorized Participant Rules. For specific legal opinions regarding the above issues we recommend that you contact our ONACS Legal Advisors and or Counsel.

We do claim the right as the Oklevueha Native American Church of SomaVeda (Brooksville, Florida), Member of ONAC Parent organization to freely, practice, express and manifestation all sacred faith, beliefs, practices and expressions of our Indigenous, Native Tribal Organization and Church in the country of Canada and Province of Ontario. We declare the right to freely practice express and manifest all of our religious practice as we self determine under our religious and ecclesiastical jurisdiction. We restrict and forbid any agency from any interference in our expression of our protected indigenous and traditional faith, beliefs, religion and the expressions and manifestations thereof. We claim these rights granted to us under Federal and International law and by treaty convention in this Washington State and in all individual states and jurisdiction and or territories of these united states.

ONACS Members desiring a separate Formal Certificate of Ordination/ Ministry, please contact the office directly.

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