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Old 10-05-2012, 05:56 PM   #1
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Vic Toews axes all non-christian prison chaplains.

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The federal government is cancelling the contracts of non-Christian chaplains at federal prisons, CBC News has learned.

Inmates of other faiths, such as Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews, will be expected to turn to Christian prison chaplains for religious counsel and guidance, according to the office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who is also responsible for Canada’s penitentiaries.

Toews made headlines in September when he ordered the cancellation of a tender issued for a Wiccan priest for federal prisons in B.C.

Toews said he wasn't convinced part-time chaplains from other religions were an appropriate use of taxpayer money and that he would review the policy.

In an email to CBC News, Toews' office says that as a result of the review, the part-time non-Christian chaplains will be let go and the remaining full-time chaplains in prisons will now provide interfaith services and counselling to all inmates.

"The minister strongly supports the freedom of religion for all Canadians, including prisoners,” the email states. “However, the government … is not in the business of picking and choosing which religions will be given preferential status through government funding. The minister has concluded … chaplains employed by Corrections Canada must provide services to inmates of all faiths."

57% of inmates Christian
There were nearly 23,000 inmates in federal custody in 2011 and a large majority of them identified themselves as Christian:

37.5% are Catholic.
19.5% are Protestant.
4.5% are Muslim.
4% First Nations spirituality
2% are Buddhist.
fewer than 1% are Jewish.
fewer than 1% are Sikh.
Figures obtained by CBC News show that before the contract cancellations — which will take effect by the end of March 2013 — there were about 80 full-time chaplains across the country and all but one are Christian. There are about 100 part-time chaplains, 20 of them non-Christian.

The total cost of the chaplain program is about $6.4 million a year and it's not clear what amount will be saved by the cancellations.

Chaplains concerned
The decision has raised concern among representatives of non-Christian faiths, such as B.C. Sikh chaplain Harkirat Singh.

“I believe this is discrimination,” Singh said. "How can a Christian chaplain provide spirituality to the Sikh faith, because they don't have that expertise."

Rabbi Dina-Hasida Mercy counsels prisoners and said she is concerned about how they will react to the government decision. (CBC)
Rabbi Dina-Hasida Mercy called the cancellations “un-Canadian” and said she was concerned about the inmates she counsels.

“My first reaction is, ‘What am I going to tell the guys that I see,’” Mercy said. "These people are all going to be out on the street someday, and unless we do some work while they're in prison to help them become good citizens when they're on the outside, it's not going to happen."

Surrey Muslim Imam Aasim Rashid said he doubted that Christians could properly minister to Muslims.

“It’s not very practical and frankly I don’t even think it’s possible,” Rashid said. "I don't think it's been done yet anywhere where you have a person of one faith who is catering to the spiritual or religious needs of all the other faiths."
Non-Christian prison chaplains chopped by Ottawa - British Columbia - CBC News

A Christian Chaplain will conduct services for people of all faiths eh...

I'm sure the Christian Chaplains will be willing to conduct a Wicca cermony, which of course requires wearing a pentacle, robes, an athame, and summoning the Goddess.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:01 PM   #2
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sure there's a Charter argument in there somewhere



can't say im surprised though the Cons are crazy
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:19 PM   #3
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:55 PM   #5
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I can't get over how idiotic Toews has been
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #6
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Toews is the same guy who had an affair with a baby sitter that worked for him while he was married and He knocked her up.


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Old 10-05-2012, 07:14 PM   #7
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How about just be fair and cut all chaplains period?
If chaplains want to counsel inmates, they should do that on their own time. Why should tax payers pay for that?

We pay our pastor $60k a year and he is obligated to go out to the community and talk to people and try to spread the word of god etc. That's part of his job. Our pastor went to one of the Abbotsford prison's monthly all of last year on our churches dollar and no one in our congregation said anything, we were all cool with it.

I say just leave it up to the respective faiths to pay for the services. If they are so concerned about the inmates then they should pay for the chaplains.

Almost $7 million going to this. Garbage.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Inmates pray it's not so
by The Canadian Press - Story: 81451
Oct 5, 2012 / 2:15 pm

The Conservative government says part-time chaplains working in federal prisons will not have their contracts renewed when they expire next year.

The government says the move will affect 31 Christian and 18 non-Christian chaplains who had part-time contracts.

Full-time chaplains will still be available to provide spiritual advice to the general prison population.

A spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says the government funds some full-time chaplains that are determined based on the number of inmates requesting services from each faith.

"Convicted criminals will continue to have access to religious services of their choice on a voluntary basis," Julie Carmichael said in an email.

"The government funds some full-time chaplains that are determined based on the number of inmates requesting services from each faith. These chaplains will also make themselves available to provide services to the general population."

But the Liberals and NDP are accusing the Conservatives of cutting the contracts of non-Christian chaplains, a claim the Tories deny.

"To me, this is an unbelievable government. They make a big fuss about the fact that they're creating an office of religious freedom in the department of Foreign Affairs and in Canadian prisons, they say, 'Well sorry, you have to make do with whatever is on offer and it's all spiritual, so that's fine,'" said interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae.

"So I'm sorry, this doesn't meet the mark and I find it offensive. I think it shows an incredible insensitivity towards religious diversity in the country and, you know, if they're interested in saving money, they can cut back on limos. They don't have to cut back on chaplains."

"This is not a costly program," said New Democrat MP Paul Dewar. "The minister has no justification for cutting it."

Conservative MP Candice Bergen says the military has run its chaplaincy program the same way for years.

"If it is good enough for our armed forces, then it is good enough for inmates in our federal penitentiaries," she said.
CBC article makes it sound like they are only cutting non-christian chaplains. They are cutting almost twice as many christian chaplains as non christian. and only about 10% of inmates are non christian.

I agree its kind of frivolous saving like $7m. Thats hardly anything. But honestly, why should the government be paying for this in the first place? If religions feel they need to provide a service to inmates, they can do it on their own time. Freedom of religion is a Canadian right, but tax payers shouldn't have to pay for your choices.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:08 PM   #9
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If God loved those people in the first place, he would've influenced them to make better choices in their lives.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:38 AM   #10
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Works for me. If your religion wants to reach out to those of your faith that made some bad choices, hold a bake sale, and hire a guy.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:45 AM   #11
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In that article, it separates Christians and Catholics, aren't Catholics a kind of Christian (as in Protestants and Catholics are both Christians)

I'm not at all religious, but that just seems odd to separate the two
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:38 AM   #12
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Christians, as a popular term nowadays, applies to most protestant churches who broke away from the Catholic faith after Martin Luther's protest and Calvin's reformation.

Presbyterian, Baptist, Jesuit, Anglican, and even "unique" variants like Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists, 7th Day Adventists, and Mormons fall under than banner.

Catholics have a very uniform method of training its priests and tend to disregard other branches of Christian worship (not in a derogatory way, just in a "Its not the way we do it" way), where different sects of protestant branches have different standards and one padre can give a "One Size Fits All" form of council to various branches of Christianity with only a little preparation beforehand. Conversely, you probably wont' see a Catholic priest try to give a sermon to a Pentecostalist.
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She taught me right from wrong and always told me to stay positive and help others no matter how small the deed - that helping others gives us meaning to carry on. The sun is out today and it's a new day. Life is good. I just needed a slap in the face.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:15 PM   #13
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will you find a Christian Priest in a little boy?
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:52 PM   #14
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In that article, it separates Christians and Catholics, aren't Catholics a kind of Christian (as in Protestants and Catholics are both Christians)

I'm not at all religious, but that just seems odd to separate the two
they believe in different things
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:25 PM   #15
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How about just be fair and cut all chaplains period?
If chaplains want to counsel inmates, they should do that on their own time. Why should tax payers pay for that?
100% Agree. I respect religion for giving people hope but personally don't believe in any kind of god. They shouldn't cater to one kind of religion, either all of them or none of them..
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:41 PM   #16
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^^^ its more in line with having the chaplains host prayer sessions within a facility (room) in the prisons the govt. pays for that because the chaplains have to go through their security screening process etc to be able to enter secure areas of the prison

if a chaplain were to visit as you guys are suggesting they're only able to do so behind that glass window and speak to people individually during visiting hours thus restricting the amount of people getting a visit and restricting their religious practices

i suspect that dollar amount shown has more to do with the costs of hosting prayer groups/sessions bibles etc than it does strictly as pay for the chaplains

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Old 10-06-2012, 03:14 PM   #17
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if a chaplain were to visit as you guys are suggesting they're only able to do so behind that glass window and speak to people individually during visiting hours thus restricting the amount of people getting a visit and restricting their religious practices

i suspect that dollar amount shown has more to do with the costs of hosting prayer groups/sessions bibles etc than it does strictly as pay for the chaplains
Too much tv. I can't speak for all prisons, but there is no glass dividing wall in medium security, which is where most of the prisoners are held.

Visits is a room that looks like a cafeteria without the food. Basically, tables and chairs that are bolted to the floor. That's how so many drugs and other things get inside.

Background security checks aren't as big a deal as you think in most prisons. I imagine there is more involved to be able to work independently inside the prison, without a staff chaperone, but not as much as you'd think.

Once again, I can't speak for what a max security is like, but when I toured a med. security prison, I was kind of shocked at how up close and personal the guards are in comparison to the prisoners. There were prisoners in and around me when I was there.

This really has nothing to do with the chaplain system, but I just wanted to clear up a misconception I saw that I originally had.

Thanks U.S. television!
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:33 PM   #18
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yes im aware of what our low/med/max/pretrial prisons look like (spent a short time going to them for work) but what i was getting at is the chaplain isn't going to be able to visit individuals en masse if they were restricted like regular visitors
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:41 PM   #19
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Two-thirds of inmates belong to a particular faith? Yet only 2% of the free population regularly engages in some type of regular "church" service.

Either inmates are particularly religious or people affiliate themselves with something they don't participate in. I suspect the latter.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:53 PM   #20
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many prisoners find religion or turn to their religions when they're incarcerated; some are genuine, some do so because they hope it looks better during a parole hearing
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:18 PM   #21
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tough call.

I feel that government should refrain completely from having any involvement or funding with religious activity. period.

I *do* realize that many inmates turn their life around with the help of religion. Hence, I do think it's important to help them in this regard.

However, I also feel strongly that for us to progress forward as an entire RACE, we need to set and follow ethics and morals, based on common sense, fostering the well being of our fellow man and woman, and NOT based solely on a "fear" of retribution from some omnipotent god.

I'm not an athiest, I do believe there is something wonderful and more powerful than we could ever comprehend - BUT I don't base how I live my life on that belief. I base my decisions on the simple concept: Pros vs Cons, and I avoid doing anything that will fuck up my life or anyone else's life. People in prison clearly have problems with this concept and sticking to it. In most cases, religion, or lack of religion, has ZERO to do with why someone is in jail.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:57 PM   #22
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How about just be fair and cut all chaplains period?
If chaplains want to counsel inmates, they should do that on their own time. Why should tax payers pay for that?
Current legislation guarantees the availability of such services; axing the CSC's Chaplaincy Service effectively removes that guarantee.


Corrections and Conditional Release Act:


Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations:



If and when the above sections are changed, it'd bring Section 2 of the Charter into the equation.
When someone isn't locked up in prison, they're freely able to seek out a priest, for example.
When we lock them up, we can't guarantee that there will be a priest who will come to the prison to meet them.
It's a limitation on their freedom and, as such, in violation of Section 2. The Chaplaincy Service guarantees access.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:13 PM   #23
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majority of catholic priests are freemasons

especially those in the vatican

just saying
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:53 PM   #24
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majority of catholic priests are freemasons

especially those in the vatican

just saying

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She taught me right from wrong and always told me to stay positive and help others no matter how small the deed - that helping others gives us meaning to carry on. The sun is out today and it's a new day. Life is good. I just needed a slap in the face.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:55 PM   #25
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majority of catholic priests are freemasons

especially those in the vatican

just saying
you can be a freemason too Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon


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If and when the above sections are changed, it'd bring Section 2 of the Charter into the equation.
When someone isn't locked up in prison, they're freely able to seek out a priest, for example.
When we lock them up, we can't guarantee that there will be a priest who will come to the prison to meet them.
It's a limitation on their freedom and, as such, in violation of Section 2. The Chaplaincy Service guarantees access.
yes but the govt can find it to be a reasonable limit if they wanted to stop it outright or even use sec33 (although insanely unlikely)
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