Mr. Speaker, modern democracies are founded on the principle of the separation of church and state. It is a principle that I certainly support.
When secular tradition suppresses individual freedoms and disregards tolerance, I think we as a House and as a nation need to stand up. I am particularly concerned with the ban on articles of faith and the wearing of articles of faith in France.
I recently circulated a letter to all members of Parliament, many of whom have signed, expressing to the French government the need to repeal this action as it is directly contrary to our deeply felt convictions that we need to support freedom and democracy.
This affects Muslims, Jews and Christians equally. The fear is that if France entrenches this, it will extend into other jurisdictions.
Individuals must be free to express themselves. We must fight for that freedom. I urge all members of the House to stand on that principle.