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Conservatives Violate Charter Rights by Cutting Non-Christian Prison Chaplains

Conservatives Violate Charter Rights by Cutting Non-Christian Prison Chaplains

Posted on October 5, 2012

OTTAWA– Liberal Justice and Human Rights critic Prof. Irwin Cotler made the following statement today on the Conservatives’ decision to cancel non-Christian chaplains from the Correctional Services Canada (CSC) Chaplaincy program:

“The Conservative government’s decision to cut the contracts of non-Christian chaplains in federal prisons, requiring inmates of other faiths to turn to Christian chaplains for religious guidance, is clearly discriminatory.

The Minister of Public Safety says that he is ‘not in the business of picking and choosing which religions will be given preferential status’ – but by providing funding for Christian chaplains only, he is doing precisely that.

The Conservatives must recognize this contradiction, reinstate funding for chaplains of all faiths, and uphold the values of freedom of conscience and religion – and equality before the law – as enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”