Where is the Canadian Taxpayers Federation when you need them?
Mr. Harper, our self-proclaimed wise and prudent manager of Canadaís fiscal resources, has decided to spend $5 million to establish an Office of Religious Freedom. All this does is raise a host of troublesome questions.
Donít get me wrong, I believe that Canada has a role to play in world affairs, but do we really need a new office to do so?
And why an office dedicated solely to religious freedom? Why not an Office of Human Rights that would address a broad spectrum of human rights violations?
Donít we already have an entire department and minister, namely the Department of Foreign Affairs and Minister John Baird, to play that role?
And donít we already have an ambassador, namely Canadaís Ambassador to the United Nations, to inform other nations of our concerns about violations of human rights and freedoms?
Do you really think that China, for example, will listen to a mere Ambassador of Religious Freedom when they have already told our prime minister to butt out, in so many words, when he raised the issue of human rights in that country?
That the Sunnis and Shias will drop the gloves, shake hands and live together in peace and harmony just because Canada asks them to?
And why is the prime minister so eager to promote human rights and freedoms in other countries when the he has eliminated funding to Canadian agencies such as the Court Challenges Program that assisted Canadians in ensuring that our own charter rights and freedoms are maintained?
Finally, how far will $5 million go in promoting religious freedom around the world? And why spend $5 million on this when other more critical parts of the federal government, such as environment, are being subjected to drastic slashes in funding and staff? Where is the Canadian Taxpayers Federation when you need them?