Hon. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s, Lib.):
The government’s decision to cut part-time chaplains in our prisons has sparked strong objections from religious leaders across the country and across religious faiths.
They have told the government that appropriate faith-based counselling in prison is often a key to rehabilitation.
This is not just a matter of protecting religious freedom, it is about reducing reoffending – the key to safer communities.
Why are the Conservatives discriminating against non-Christians?
Hon. Vic Toews (Minister of Public Safety, CPC):
That member’s claims are based on a false and misleading report from the CBC that added words to a quote. The fact is that the Government of Canada strongly supports the freedom of religion of all Canadians. The Government of Canada funds full-time spiritual advisors to provide spiritual services to prisoners. These advisors can be of any faith, will make themselves available to provide faith-based advice to offenders and they supervise 2,500 volunteers of all faiths right across this country.