FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON – David Anderson, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Human Rights and Religious Freedom, is dismayed by the weak Canadian presence at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, hosted by the U.S. Department of State this week in Washington, D.C.
“It has been my privilege to attend the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom this week,” said Anderson. “Dozens of international representatives came to Washington to highlight the ongoing and growing challenges to Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB).”
Anderson lamented the lacklustre response from Canada to the landmark meeting, part of a continued silence by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals on threats posed to the fundamental right worldwide.
“I am sorry to see the Liberal government choosing to minimize this opportunity,” he said. “On May 24, 2018, I wrote to the Minister of Foreign Affairs requesting that the co-chairs of the newly formed Canadian Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief be invited to be part of the official Canadian delegation. Unfortunately, I never received a response back.”
Over 80 countries were expected to attend the Ministerial – the first event of its kind – which was heralded as the start of a worldwide recommitment to the fundamental right of FoRB for persecuted people everywhere.
“Unfortunately once again, this Liberal government has failed on a substantive issue,” said Anderson. “It seems that unless there is a photo op for Justin Trudeau or his Cabinet Ministers, they are not interested.”
– 30 –
For more information, please contact the office of:
David Anderson, MP: (613) 992-0657