Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Statement by Mr. Bob Dechert (Mississauga—Erindale, CPC) regarding Office of Religious Freedom

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to applaud our government regarding the announcement made last week to establish an office of religious freedom within the Department of Foreign Affairs. The new office will have the responsibility to enshrine and promote the freedom of religion or belief as a Canadian foreign policy priority.

Many of my constituents in Mississauga are excited to see the launch of this new office, as it shows our government’s continued dedication to promoting this fundamental freedom and to addressing the concerns of its citizens.

The office will be an important vehicle through which Canada can advance fundamental Canadian values, including freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide.

At the same event, the Prime Minister announced that Dr. Andrew Bennett will be heading up this new office. I had the pleasure to sit down with Dr. Bennett last week. It was apparent to me that he is a man of principle and deep conviction. I would encourage all members of this House to support the work of Dr. Bennett as he heads up Canada’s new office of religious freedom.