Non-Christian Chaplains Fired for not Being Christian

Effective the end of March, 2013, the Canadian federal government is cancelling all contracts of non-Christian prison chaplains. Although Canada does not have a formal separation of state and religion in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we are a country with religious freedom.  Based on statistics collected by CBC News, the cancellation of contracts with non-Christian chaplains will leave 43% of prisoners without proper religious counselling. There has been a cry of outrage from chaplains and religious leaders, accusing the Canadian government of blatant discrimination.

In Minister Vic Toews email to CBC News, he states that: “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 government clearly has given preferential status and it is without a doubt towards Christians. Speaking from a position of Christian privilege, Toews doesn’t realize a Christian chaplain cannot provide adequate counselling to people of different religions.

Although Toews claims that letting go of the non-Christian chaplains will save the money of taxpayers, he has failed to take into account that Canadian taxpayers are of all religions. Perhaps the Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and countless other religious denominations, would like to contribute their tax money towards rehabilitating members of their own religion? If the federal government is going to pay for chaplains at all, they should represent the broad spectrum of faith we have in Canada.

-AmandaC
#349

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