The Trudeau Government has announced that it is extending the Office of Religious Freedom for another month.  However, it does appear that the government is about to close the Office.  That is a big mistake in my opinion.  You will want to read my piece in the National Post.

Thoughts on The case for the Office of Religious Freedom

  1. Michael Packer

    Thanks for a clear and insightful presentation on the issues. Did the National Post print your whole submission, or is this a shortened version?

    1. CCCCBarry W. Bussey Post author

      Hi Michael. There was some editing but relatively minor. For the opinion articles you only have about 700 words or so.

  2. markus minder

    Great article. Do you think the Liberals are forthcoming in the full reason why they want to shut down this office?

    1. CCCCBarry W. Bussey Post author

      Hi Markus, according to Minister Dion it is because religious freedom should not be singled out from other human rights. The problem is that religious persecution around the world is rampant. The Office of Religious Freedom acted as a spotlight on those abuses. It would be great for the government to hold committee hearings in Parliament and let the various players have an opportunity to express their positions on the matter. If that were done I think the Canadian public would see very quickly just how widespread the problem is and why such an Office has a lot of benefits. Simply turning the spotlight on the plight of the persecuted would put pressure on such countries to stop the persecution.

  3. Trudy Beyak

    A thoughtful commentary! Religious freedom is one of the vital signs of a healthy democratic society. But, what do I see more and more, today? Unfortunately, I see a trend of less tolerance and respect for the rights of religious minorities, not more. Troubling times, for sure. That is why the Office of Religious Freedom absolutely needs to be there to promote respect and peace for everyone.

    1. CCCCBarry W. Bussey Post author

      Thanks Trudy. Brian Grim who I reference in the article has put together a very strong case for the argument that religious freedom not only helps an economy but it protects other rights as well. We have long recognized that intuitively but today it seems we have to relearn it.

  4. Brian Hawes

    Barry …who is the minister currently in charge of that office. I would like to follow up and read his “letter of Mandate” from the PM

  5. Jason Mugford

    Excellent article Barry. Most of the conflicts we are seeing around the world today is directly related to religion. Our leaders today need to stand up for religious freedoms and human rights. Closing the Office of Religious Freedoms is a mistake because now more then ever we need to help others who are being persecuted for their beliefs.

    1. CCCCBarry W. Bussey Post author

      Thanks Jason. The Office has an important education role not only for those countries where religious freedom is diminishing but also for us in Canada – to raise awareness of what is happening around the world.

  6. David Sloan

    Thanks Barry for keeping us posted on these and other important issues in this arena. We often are not given any knowledge of what is going on behind the scenes unless there is some kind of vigilant person or group carefully scrutinizing the government’s activities. Knowing these things, if only more people would speak out and be heard we would gain more traction in protecting and preserving the precious rights and freedoms that we as Canadians hope to continue enjoying now and in the future. Is there some kind of organized voice other than Brian Grim speaking to the Liberal government regarding the importance of keeping this office?

    1. CCCCBarry W. Bussey Post author

      Hi David, yes there are many groups speaking out on this issue – a number of churches; and organizations that represents different communities who have immigrated to Canada who know what it is like back home. They understand why this is important.

  7. john s. dubourt

    Hear hear amen! Want to re-read it again. That would be dreadful indeed if this office is closed. I/we my wife and I have sent Mr. Bennett a subscription to the Liberty magazine and would like to continue doing so if his office does not close.

    Is it possible to start a petition to keep the office open?

    1. CCCCBarry W. Bussey Post author

      Hi John – thanks. Of course you may start a petition as you wish – I do think there is something akin to that going on but I do not have any particulars. All the best.

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