Letter from CCCB President to Foreign Affairs Minister on Canadian Foreign Policy

Tuesday, July 04 2017

crosbyThe Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has written to the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, regarding her 6 June 2017 speech on Canadian foreign policy. In her speech to the House of Commons, the Minister equated women’s rights with the right to abortion and “sexual reproductive rights”, claiming “[t]hese rights are at the core of Canadian foreign policy.” In his letter, Bishop Crosby expresses his profound concern and disagreement, calling the statement “erroneous, confusing, and misguided.” He recalls that “many women’s issues that actually ought to have been raised as legitimate points of international engagement … were passed over in silence. They include Canada’s economic partnerships with countries in which female infants are murdered for not being male; those in which women earn less than men for the same job or where they do not enjoy the same privileges under the law, including the right to education or protection from rape, physical violence, and other forms of abuse.”

Bishop Crosby points out that “for a considerable population (both within Canada and abroad) the unborn child is regarded as a human being created by God and worthy of life and love”, while the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously acknowledged in its 1988 decision in the Morgentaler case that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the unborn. The CCCB President insists that “in these uncertain times, when Canada’s voice and leadership do matter on everything from climate change to global peace, political ideology cannot be allowed to dictate foreign policy and to override common sense and our humanitarian responsibilities to those in dire need.”

A copy of the three-page letter was also sent to the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau; the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau; the Official Leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Andrew Scheer; the Opposition Critic for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Tony Clement; and the Opposition Critic for Human Rights and Religious Freedom, the Honourable David Anderson.

Link to the letter of Bishop Crosby (PDF)