Girl Guides of Canada won't participate in Santa Claus parade because the event is too religious
· Oct 25, 2023 ·

It feels a bit early for the Christmas hate and outrage, but...

Bah humbug! No parade for you!

Due to the Girl Guides of Canada's (GGC) secularism policy, the young ladies in the Ottawa area will not be allowed to participate in this year's Santa Claus parade.

The 2023 Kanata Santa Claus Parade is happening in the west end of Ottawa on Saturday, November 25 (an entire month before the religious holiday in question!), and Kanata South Councillor Allan Hubley told CTV News that he has been reaching out to community groups and inviting them to join in on the festivities.

We got a response from the Girl Guides that Girl Guides of Canada does not allow them to be part of a Christmas parade.

According to the GGC's Guiding is for Everyone handbook ("everyone" excluding those who want to celebrate Christmas), as part of their broader "diversity, equity and inclusion policy," the girls cannot participate in any activities related to "faith-based beliefs, behaviours and traditions."

(Girl Guides of Canada) is a secular organization, which means that Guiding is not affiliated with, nor privileges any religion or faith-based beliefs, behaviours and traditions.

As a secular organization, we welcome girls and women from all and no religious affiliations. Being a secular organization signals Guiding's belief in providing a safe space and sense of belonging for all girls.

The GGC fears that joining a Santa Claus parade would be seen as "promoting religious practices," which could lead to "unintentionally turning away future members who don't share those beliefs."

Apparently, a Santa Claus parade a month before Christmas is one of those events that "have their roots in religion" and must be boycotted by the group.

Shannon Benner, the CEO of Girl Guides, issued a statement earlier this week addressing the organization's dedication to secular principles.

(Girl Guides of Canada) has been working diligently to ensure that all activities offered by the organization are of a secular nature so that we are providing an inclusive space for all who choose to be members of Girl Guides of Canada.

As a result, participating in activities that have a connection to a specific religious celebration are not part of the program offering at GGC. The Girl Guides program platform offers suggestions for Guiders and members looking to create inclusive and fun unit experiences.

Many local GGC leaders have agreed not to participate in the parade, but Hubley keeps his fingers crossed and hopes some Girl Guides will attend anyway.

I couldn't believe it at first. I said ‘please check.'

Apparently, there is something being sent out to all the groups to tell them that they can't do that.

In my case, I have to tell my two granddaughters that they can't be in the parade but their brother can, because he's in the Scouts.

We just want everyone who can to be part of the parade because it's all about celebrating the caring and giving and kindness of the season.

Wow, GGC, way to ruin a beautiful holiday.

They are literally stealing Christmas from little girls!

Really, though - not cool!

Just let the kids join the parade. No matter the faith or background of a child, Christmas is a joyful time that everyone can and should be able to enjoy.

Let kids be kids, and let them have fun at the Santa Claus parade!

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