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Outgoing Letters and Public Statements

December 9, 2015

Ms. Jan Mollenhauer
Chair, Board of Management
Yonge-Dundas Square
2 Carlton Street, Suite 1707
Toronto, Ontario MSB 1J3

Dear Ms. Mollenhauer,

I am writing to express my support for Voices of the Nations' application for a permit to use YongeDundasSquare for its annual multi-denominational event in August 2016. We are deeply concerned with the refusal of Yonge-Dundas Square to issue this permit earlier this fall.

I am asking the Board of Management to reconsider and to grant the permit at the appeal hearing on December 10. The mandate of Yonge-Dundas Square is to be "a public square, community gathering place and event venue for the general public." Toronto has been heralded as one of the most multicultural cities in the world. The use of public space by diverse groups would be one of the hallmarks of this multiculturalism.

Toronto's Christian community is a vibrant sector of the city. This group shouldn't be excluded from the public square because of its identity as Christians or because its event includes a public expression offaith. Performing music with lyrics that praise God is not proselytism, by any broadly-held definition.

Denying this group's application because they are Christians expressing their faith in Christ not only violates our constitutionally-protected freedom of religion and religious expression, it undermines the social fabric that allows us to live together in this multicultural milieu.

Please take action to affirm religious freedom in Toronto by granting the permit and allowing this Christian music festival to be held in Yonge-Dundas Square.

Sincerely,

Bruce Clemenger, President
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

Outgoing Letters

2011-present
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EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger writes regular commentaries about public policy issues. The EFC magazine Faith Today often publishes articles and essays that examine such issues.

   
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