Mr. Chair, the subject we are discussing today is very dear to my heart. I will try to speak as quickly as possible to say everything in the minute or minute and a half that I am allotted.
As a Greek Orthodox Christian, I sense the pain of the Coptic Orthodox people all over the world with the tragedy of what is happening in Egypt. The Coptic Orthodox Church can trace its roots back to our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact a couple of years ago when I visited Egypt, I went to Old Cairo. I visited a historic church in which Jesus Christ himself was hidden by our Virgin Mary in the basement of what is now a church that had been built above where he was kept. It was a very emotional, historic time, and a very important symbol of Christianity right there in the heart of Egypt.
I want to refer to what our government has done and is doing. We all know the position our Minister of Foreign Affairs has taken. I want to ask the member opposite a question specifically as it relates to the office of religious freedom.
The first meeting was held with over 100 religious leaders right here in the nation's capital on October 3 of this year. This office was initially allotted a $5 million budget. We have religious freedom in Canada and it is really to promote religious freedom in other nations, like Egypt, regarding this very problem. That office has been put under the auspices of the foreign affairs ministry. That in itself says a lot. Can the member see the merit in that?