DND nearly spent $500K on a mosque for Syrian refugees in 2017

Rebel News encountered 7.5 years of delays in obtaining planning and expense documents for the proposed Meaford mosque intended for housing refugees on the base.

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An exclusive access filing by Rebel News demonstrates the extreme lengths Department of National Defence bureaucrats went to in accommodating the religious needs of Syrians fleeing the civil war who were to be housed at CFB Meaford.

In contrast, the Chaplaincy service of the Canadian military cancelled Christian prayers in 2023 until public outcry forced a reversal of the "inclusive policy."

Rebel News faced 7.5 years of delays in accessing the planning and expense documents for the proposed Meaford mosque for refugees to be housed on the base.

The 300 pages of records show frantic efforts by bureaucrats to procure a $200,000 "circus tent" to accommodate the religious practices of the anticipated refugee influx.

The stand-alone mosque was to face Mecca after plans to commandeer the gymnasium on the Ontario base fell through.

Bureaucrats were caught flat footing by the need to heat the tent, and ultimately, after plans were put in place for heating, the Feds decided the Syrian newcomers would be housed elsewhere.

The proposed mosque was to cost nearly $500,000 if it were built.

The DND has not taken the same serious approach to religious accommodations of troops living and working on Canadian Forces bases.

According to reports in Epoch Times, an October 11, 2023 policy directive from the Office of the Chaplain General issued a new policy that replaces public prayer with non-religious “spiritual reflections.”

The DND told The Epoch Times that chaplains could not use language such as “God” and “Heavenly Father” in official ceremonies.

The DND backtracked the policy after public outrage. An email by Chaplain General Brigadier-General Guy Belisle told the chaplaincy he continues to support the “spirit” of the new directive.

Still, chaplains would be permitted to operate under previous prayer protocols.

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