The Office for Religious Freedom in Canada was opened in February 2013. In March of 2016 it was closed by the Government. Its international mandate includes the following: protect, and advocate on behalf of, religious minorities under threat; oppose religious hatred and intolerance; and promote Canadian values of pluralism and tolerance abroad.
Many groups opposed this decision. Among them are: The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) the Catholic Refugee Sponsors Council (CRSC) and some Government leaders including Patrick Brown the leader of the Opposition in the Province of Ontario.
The CCCB, in its statement pointed out that the office was an important signal to the international community and to Canadians – as well as a reminder to our civil servants and our country’s diplomats – of the singular importance of religious freedom, and of the unfortunate lack of voices in society prepared to come to its defence.
Please read the entire statement by the CCCB here: CCCB Letter of Regret
Catholic Refugee Sponsors’ Council (CRSC) also expressed disappointment at the closure. Please read the CRSC letter here: CRSC Letter of Disappointment
The leader of the opposition in Ontario, Mr. Patrick Brown MPP has written a letter as well. He expresses dismay on behalf of the Opposition Party in Ontario to the closure of the Office of Religious Freedom. He refers of various United Nations declaration to which Canada has accepted which speak of religious freedom and the necessity to uphold and promote it.
Please read the entire letter from Mr. Brown here: Mr. Patrick Brown Letter of Dismay
Your comments and feedback are welcome: Catholic Refuge Sponsors’ Council