Justin Trottier

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Justin Trottier
Born Justin Trottier
(1982-12-04) 4 December 1982 (age 31)
Montreal, Quebec
Residence Toronto, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Education Bachelor of Applied Science, Engineering
Alma mater University of Toronto
Occupation Political Candidate, Executive Director of an Educational Charitable Organization, Writer, Public Speaker
Years active 2002-present
Employer CFI Canada (current),
Relatives Lorne Trottier

Justin Trottier (born December 4, 1982) is an English-Canadian activist and former political candidate. In 2009 he was one of the main spokespersons for the Canadian atheist bus campaign. He has also been involved with Men's Rights organizations. He founded the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) and in 2011 he was the spokesperson for Toronto Men’s Issues Awareness Campaign, Men's rights organiztion. He was also a Green Party candidate for the 2011 Federal election.

Early life[edit]

He is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a degree in Engineering Science. His uncle, Lorne Trottier, is the co-founder of Matrox computing.



In 2005 Trottier founded the University of Toronto Secular Alliance with Jennie Fiddes. The organization successfully lobbied for the secularization of the University of Toronto's graduation ceremony through the removal of convocation prayers.[1]

In March 2006 Trottier opened the Secular Freethought Centre, the first community centre in Canada for secular humanists. By January 2007 the Secular Freethought Centre had become the Centre for Inquiry Canada (CFI) and Trottier was hired as its first Executive Director. CFI currently operates 10 branches in Canada as a national educational charity. Trottier oversaw its national office, which coordinates its educational programs, campus and public outreach, social and community services, multimedia, and legal work.

In June 2010, Trottier hired Nathan Phelps, the estranged son of Pastor Fred Phelps of the notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, to head up the Calgary, Alberta, branch of the Centre for Inquiry. Nathan Phelps has worked with CFI to promote gay rights issues and to advance tolerance and equality.[citation needed]

Trottier speaks helped launch the Blasphemy Day.[2]

He assisted in the formation of the One School System Network which advocating for the defunding of the tax-payer supported Roman Catholic School System in Ontario.[citation needed] The One School System Network was a group against the Conservative Party leader John Tory's 2007 election campaign proposal to fund all private faith-based schools in Ontario fully.[citation needed] Trottier is one of the coalition's primary spokespeople,[3] during which he debated then Education Minister Kathleen Wynne on live television.[4]

Trottier participates in multifaith public events, including the Hamilton World Religion Conference.[citation needed]

He was a guest speaker at The Amazing Meeting, the largest annual skepticism event, hosted by the James Randi Educational Foundation in Las Vegas July 2011.[citation needed]

In 2005 Trottier joined the Board of Directors of the Canadian Space Society and has served as the Society's External Director and as the managing editor of its publication, the Canadian Space Gazette.

Atheist bus campaign[edit]

Trottier is the founder and former President of the Freethought Association of Canada. During his leadership he acted as one of the primary spokespersons for the 2009 Canadian Atheist Bus Campaign. The Canadian Atheist Bus Campaign received considerable media attention, including coverage by CBC, the National Post, Global TV, CityTV,[5] the Globe and Mail,[6] CTV News,[7] This Magazine,[8] Kelowna Daily Courier,[9] Crossroad Television,[10] and other outlets.

Trottier appeared on an episode of TV Ontario's The Agenda, hosted by Steve Paikin, to discuss advertising atheism.[11]

The Canadian Atheist Bus ads sparked counter campaigns in response, which Trottier publicly supported, including an ad sponsored by Syed Sohawardy of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and another by the United Church of Canada. Trottier was noted for championing free speech rights for all groups that had provocative messages censored in public space. A variety of cities refused to run the ads, although some withdrew their prohibition after a Supreme Court ruling found banning political or controversial ads a violation of the free speech provision in the Canadian constitution.[12] In May 2011, he published a video investigating missing atheist ads in Kelowna, BC, arguing the city failed to protect the ads and to adequately support the free speech of citizens.[13]

Media work[edit]

Since January 2011, Trottier has appeared regularly on the John Oakley Show's Tuesday morning Culture War segment on Toronto Radio AM640.[14] His debate opponents have tended to be conservative religious leaders, including Reverend Charles McVety, Pastor Scott Masson, and Rabbi Mendel Kaplan.

Trottier was a guest on The Michael Coren Show's Faith Matters panel about once a month from May 2008 until the show went off the air in July 2011.[15] Trottier is a frequent guest on The Rob Breakenridge Show on AM770 Calgary Radio.[16]

Trottier has appeared on CBC's The National,[17] CTV's Canada AM[18] Global's 16:9, TVO's The Agenda,[19] CH TV news, and CP24. In January 2011 Trottier was featured on the cover of Eye Weekly (now The Grid) magazine.[20] In June 2011 interviews with Trottier were a major component of Vision TV's two-part documentary "Godless" [21]

During 2008 Trottier was the secular humanist columnist for the Globe and Mail's online "Faith and Ethics" panel. In April 2009, he was invited to become a contributor to the National Post's online Holy Post blog.[22]

Men's Rights[edit]

Trottier is the founder and current chair of the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE).[23] In January 2009 he launched The Pendulum Effect podcast which served as the organization's official podcast until 2011.[24] CAFE has been described as a Men's Rights organization by newspapers.[25]

In 2011, he became the leader of the Toronto Men’s Issues Awareness Campaign.[26] Trottier was interviewed by the Toronto Star about the campaign. “Look at the landscape and for all our talk of equality, it’s ironic that our societal investments have really been on women’s issues. We should be equally open to appreciating men’s issues.”[26] In regards to domestic abuse shelters he said: “They are almost entirely set up for women victims but if you look at the statistics, there are a surprising percentage of cases where men are being victimized.”[26]

In 2014, CAFE was excluded from Pride Week. Trottier was asked about the incident and gave no comment, saying that he was not authorized to speak for the group.[27]

Political career[edit]

In 2011, he became the Green Party of Ontario candidate for the Parkdale-High Park riding in the 2011 Ontario general election.[28] Incumbent Cheri DiNovo kept her seat while Justin Trottier placed 4th in the election.[29]


  1. ^ "Prayer not necessary". gazette.uwo.ca/Citytv.com. 2006-03-15. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  2. ^ "Did you celebrate Blasphemy Day?". usatoday.com. 2009-02-12. 
  3. ^ "Catholic School Funding Protest". cbc.ca. 2010-09-13. 
  4. ^ "Justin Trottier-end public funds to religious schools-Part 1". youtube.com. 2007-07-15. 
  5. ^ "'No God' Ads, Soon To Appear On TTC Vehicles, Spark Heated Debate". Citytv.com. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  6. ^ "Atheists hope (don't pray) to bring ads to Toronto". theglobeandmail.com. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  7. ^ "Atheists' transit campaign attracting interest". ctv.ca. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  8. ^ "Atheist bus ads may be crossing the pond". blog.thismagazine.ca. 2009-01-16. 
  9. ^ "Atheist transit ads proposed for Toronto could roll into other Canadian cities". kelownadailycourier.ca. 2009-01-16. 
  10. ^ "Faith Journal". youtube.com. 2009-11-07. 
  11. ^ "Your Agenda: Advertising Atheism". tvo.org. 2009-02-12. 
  12. ^ "Transit ad ban violates free expression: Supreme Court". xtra.ca. 2009-07-10. 
  13. ^ "Stolen Atheist Ads Investigated by CFI Leader in Kelowna". youtube.com. 2011-05-15. 
  14. ^ "John Oakley Show". 640toronto.com. 
  15. ^ "The Michael Coren Show". ctstv.com. 
  16. ^ "The Rob Breakenridge Show". qr77.com. 
  17. ^ "The Atheists Spreading the Word (Part 1 of 3)". youtube.com. 
  18. ^ "CTV's Canada AM, Religious groups counter atheist bus ads". Toronto.ctv.ca. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  19. ^ The Agenda, Advertising Atheism http://www.tvo.org/cfmx/tvoorg/theagenda/index.cfm?page_id=7&bpn=779432&ts=2009-02-12%2020:00:35.0
  20. ^ "The war on god (and karma and acupuncture and wizards)". eyeweekly.com. 2011-01-05. 
  21. ^ "Godless". facebook.com. 
  22. ^ "Holy Post". National Post. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  23. ^ "Men’s rights group used feminists’ names on charity application". 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  24. ^ "Pendulum Effect Podcast". 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  25. ^ http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/08/15/controversial_mens_rights_group_fundraising_for_a_centre_for_men_and_families.html
  26. ^ a b c "Cribb: Men are the new underclass". 2011-10-19. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  27. ^ http://www.thestar.com/news/pridetoronto/2014/06/27/mens_rights_group_excluded_from_toronto_pride_parade.html
  28. ^ "Justin Trottier Candidate Page". Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  29. ^ "PARKDALE-HIGH PARK: DiNovo keeps riding orange". Retrieved 2011-10-28. 

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