September 6, 2012 by Lain
If you haven’t already heard, and I can’t see how you wouldn’t have… Public Safety Minister Vic Toews today suspended a tender put forth earlier this week by Corrections Canada to hire a Wiccan prison chaplain in British Columbia.
The job would require a Wiccan chaplain to provide ritual and services for about 17 hours a month, for a salary of between $25,000- $50,000/yr.
The Minister’s office responded as such;
“Religious freedom is a paramount value in Canadian society,” Julie Carmichael, director of communications for the minister, said in an email.
“However, the government is not convinced all services offered through the chaplaincy program reflect an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars.”
“This has been put to tender because there is a need,” Corrections spokesman David Harty said before the tender was cancelled.
News of the decision has since spread like wildfire, from the Vancouver Sun, to the National Post, and even Patheo’s The Wild Hunt, news agencies, both mainstream and Pagan, are abuzz with this story.
Local Wiccan Priest Sam Wagar, founder of BC’s CWABC, the organization largely responsible for provincial recognition of Wicca in BC, has been busy with interviews as well.
If you feel the Minister was hasty in his decision to cancel the posting for a Wiccan prison chaplain in a province where Wicca is accepted as a legitimate spiritual path, feel free to contact the good Minister and let him know how you feel;
Right Honourable Minister Vic Toews
Suite 306, Justice Building House of Commons
Ottawa. Ont. K1A 0A6
or, feel free to visit his official website and contact page here.