October 10, 2011
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird met with the Under-Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, Monsignor Ettore Balestrero, at the Vatican on October 10, 2011. Minister Baird used the opportunity to discuss the issue of freedom of religion.
The government committed to creating an Office of Religious Freedom within Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, as outlined in the June 3, 2011, Speech from the Throne. This was a pillar of Minister Baird's address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 26, 2011.