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Canada: non-Christian prison chaplains’ contracts cancelled

Canada: non-Christian prison chaplains’ contracts cancelled

The Rev. Malcolm French writes to object to the new policy in Canada that only allows Christian chaplains to work in prisons:

The federal government is cancelling the contracts of non-Christian chaplains at federal prisons, CBC News has learned.

Inmates of other faiths, such as Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews, will be expected to turn to Christian prison chaplains for religious counsel and guidance, according to the office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who is also responsible for Canada’s penitentiaries.

Read French’s letter objecting to the policy change here.


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Rod Gillis

Folks interested in this story and Malcolm’s response may be interested in the article linked below, its from our local provincial news paper and written by a United Church of Canada minister.

I wish Malcolm luck waiting on a reply from the Prime Minister on this or anything for that matter. Eventually he’ll get a spin piece cranked out by word processor from the PMO.

Besides, the Harper government is too busy hyping the British monarchy these days to worry about the social concerns of contemporary Canadians.

Ann Fontaine

From Malcolm French:

“My email was sent to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair. Mulcair’s office provided an autogenerated response immediately to acknowledge receipt (and to explain that a response might take a few days). A fuller response followed within a few days. The Prime Minister’s staff responded within a few days indicating my correspondence was being referred to Minister Toews’s office for response. To date, crickets from Toews.”

Rod Gillis

Malcolm is on the money on this one.Well done and well said! What’s really galling is that Canada’s Conservative (right) government is, at the very same time, launching an “Office of Religious Freedom”.

What’s really interesting on both counts is that organized religion in Canada does not have, nor do most Canadians want it to have, a high public profile.

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