"Freedom" to do what?
Communications lines drafted by the bureaucracy about the government's plan to establish an Office of Religious Freedom reveal a deep-seated nervousness about how the venture will be perceived by the public.
During the election campaign last spring the Conservatives promised the office would become a key pillar of Canadian foreign policy.
But documents obtained through access to information laws suggest the government is worried about the perception that the office would be used to curry favour with religious and ethnic groups in Canada. And it shows nervousness about the office being seen as an attempt to blur the line between church and state.
The lines were drafted for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird for a day-long consultation with religious groups, human rights advocates and academics, which took place in Ottawa on October 3. The meeting was closed to the public and the media.
This is a really bad idea.
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