Religion and Canadian Party Politics
Publisher Vancouver: UBC Press
Authors David Rayside, Jerald Sabin, and Paul E.J. Thomas

Religion and Canadian Party Politics

This volume, written with Paul Thomas and Gerald Sabin, takes a close look at how much influence faith continues to have in federal, provincial, and territorial politics. Case studies from across the country draw on historical material and contemporary accounts, alongside interviews with close observers and data on public attitudes, to explore three important axes of religiously-based contention – between Protestants and Catholics, moral conservatives and reformers, and more recently, defenders and opponents of publicly recognizing minority religious practices. Although the extent of partisan engagement with each of these sources of conflict has varied across time and region, we show that religion still matters in shaping political oppositions.


  • Introduction: Faith and Party Politics in Canada

Part 1: Federal Politics

  • 1. Conservative Faith and Federal Parties
  • 2. Abortion Politics and Federal Parties

Part 2: Persistent Denominationalism in Provincial Politics

  • 3. Religion in Atlantic Provincial Politics: The Special Cases of Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick
  • 4. Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives and Tenacious Denominational Politics, 1943–85

Part 3: Religious Conservatism and the Partisan Right

  • 5. Sexual Diversity and the Mobilization of Faith Communities in Ontario, 1986–2015
  • 6. The Declining Influence of Conservative Faith in Alberta since 1971
  • 7. Schooling, Sexuality, and Religious Conservatism in British Columbia Politics

Part 4: Canada’s Most Distinctive Regions

  • 8. Conflicted Secularism in Francophone Quebec Party Politics
  • 9. Evangelical Christianity and Northern Territorial Politics

Conclusion: Canadian Diversity in Comparative Context