Former Canadian health minister urges Parliament to regulate places of worship and private schools

Former Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh says Canada needs a licensing system help ‘build a caring and inclusive society.’
Mon Feb 23, 2015 - 2:24 pm EST
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OTTAWA, February 23, 2015 ( – Former British Columbia premier and federal health minister Ujjal Dosanjh has called on Parliament to establish a licensing system for places of worship and private schools to ensure they do not undermine “Canadian values.”

“We want to know what it is that’s being taught,” the former Liberal politician said in a presentation February 16 to the Senate national security committee. “And if we believe that’s not in consonance with the need to build a caring and inclusive society, a fair society, then we can simply make the law that we won’t give them funds or charitable status. Let’s starve them out.”

The focus of the Senate national security committee is to study and report on security threats facing Canada, with the threat of more Islamist terrorist attacks in Canada receiving high priority.

Dosanjh said, “We do not only have an obligation, but we have a right to demand that we don’t teach killing for being offended, or something as silly as that,” in clear reference to what the RCMP terms the “radicalization to violence” that Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggested may be going on in some mosques in Canada.

On January 30, Harper answered a question on how newly-introduced anti-terror legislation will differentiate between somebody who is "radicalized" and "a teen who's just messing around in the basement."

Harper said promoting terrorism is a serious offence no matter "what the age of the person is, or whether they're in a basement, or whether they're in a mosque or somewhere else."

Dosanjh told the security committee he fears Muslim extremism will be ignored by mainstream society, with "dire consequences."

However, his call for universal governmental scrutiny of all churches and schools could violate the right to freedom of religion for all faith-based institutions in Canada.

He answered this concern, according to an Ottawa Citizen report, by telling reporters after Monday's meeting that experts would have to determine how such an oversight system would be administered without violating Charter rights.

A video of the Committee on National Security and Defence meeting of Monday, February 16 is available from the Parliament of Canada website here.


Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0A4
Clerk: Josée Thérien - (613) 998-0424
Fax: 613-947-2104
Email: [email protected]

  freedom of religion, parental rights

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