Business of Supply

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my friend, the member for Mount Royal for his interjection. Certainly it seems that he respects the work being done by Ambassador Bennett. What he does not realize is that the comments from his colleagues show a willingness to dilute the mandate, if not eliminate it entirely. When we are talking of a modest $5-million budget and a focus on religious intolerance, which is at the centre of the migration crisis around the world, this should be a focused mandate. It is only on its third or so year of operation.

In the quote I gave from Michael Ignatieff at the beginning, the previous leader of their party supported this office, and at the same time that the then member and current member for Ottawa South says it was not needed because Canada has a charter.

We do have a charter, and I showed how religious freedom and respect for tolerance is part of our charter. However, our charter does not have application around the world. Yet, the fight for religious rights and freedoms associated with faith and the practice of it is fundamental, which is why Ambassador Bennett and his team’s mandate cannot be diluted. It should be supported. If the government wants to do more through trade or international development on institution building and other things, it can do that concurrently.

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