Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Not-So-Happy Canadian Thanksgiving: Canada Cuts Non-Christian Prison Chaplains...AND MORE!

If you're a Muslim, a Sikh, a Jew, a Buddhist, or a prisoner of another faith in need of spiritual care - TOUGH LUCK. The Conservative Canadian government has cut your chaplains.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who is also responsible for Canada’s penitentiaries, made headlines in September when he ordered the cancellation of a tender issued for a Wiccan priest for federal prisons in B.C. Toews said he wasn't convinced part-time chaplains from other religions were an appropriate use of taxpayer money and that he would review the policy.

In an email to CBC News, Toews' office says that as a result of the review, the part-time non-Christian chaplains will be let go and the remaining full-time chaplains in prisons will now provide interfaith services and counselling to all inmates. Basically, Muslims, Jews, etc would have to depend on the Christian chaplain to provide spiritual care to them. *Sidenote: Canadian Prime Minister is an evangelical Christian.

"The minister strongly supports the freedom of religion for all Canadians, including prisoners,” the email states. “However, the government … is not in the business of picking and choosing which religions will be given preferential status through government funding. The minister has concluded … chaplains employed by Corrections Canada must provide services to inmates of all faiths."

The decision caps a week of bone-headed statements or decisions made by Conservative Members of Parliament. Calgary-West MP Rob Anders basically told a news outlet early in the week that NDP Leader Tom Mulcair had killed late leader Jack Layton by "making him run" in the last federal election. Anders then started a petition on his website that would make it illegal for transgender men to use women's washrooms, basically calling them sex predators. And late in the week, it was revealed that Stephen Woodworth, MP for Kitchener-Centre, would be attending an event hosted by a leader in the "gay conversion therapy" movement.

It isn't the Happiest of Thanksgivings In Canada.

Contact Your MP:

Contact The Prime Minister of Canada: