Leslyn Lewis would have all the credentials to succeed in the Canadian political environment. She is female, she is young (born in 1970), black, and was born in Jamaica. However, she has one characteristic that goes against her: she is pro-life. Lewis is running for the second time (the first being in 2020) for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), along with five other party colleagues. Public debates featuring candidates presenting their positions and programs are being held at this time, and the CPC will announce its new leader in September.
Meanwhile, Leslyn Lewis makes a very specific complaint against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who she says has been waging an “open war” against religious freedom since his election in 2015. On her own website, in a lengthy post entitled Enough Discrimination, Lewis analyzes, among other, a report from the Department of National Defense (DND) advisory group on racism and discrimination, dating back to January, which advises not considering “the employment, as spiritual leaders or multi-religious representatives, of those chaplaincy candidates affiliated with religious groups whose values are not aligned with those of the Defense team.”
What those values are is easily guessed when the report states that “[…] currently, some chaplains represent or are affiliated with organized religions whose beliefs do not match those of a diverse and inclusive workplace. Some of the religions these chaplains are affiliated with do not adhere to an open attitude and promotion of diversity.” As if to say, Lewis continues, “[…] that followers of Christianity, Islam and Judaism should be disqualified from serving as chaplains in the military.”
However, it is evident how such policies directly and negatively impact religious freedom, against which a declared war is being waged. In 2016, the Prime Minister already abolished the Religious Freedom Office established by his predecessor, Stephan Harper, in 2013. And Leslyn Lewis stated that she has every intention of reopening it.
Now, with these recommendations regarding the choice of military chaplains, Canada is claiming to be increasingly “liberal” and less and less respectful of genuine freedoms, primarily religious freedom.