Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

How the leaders view religion and politics

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and his wife Zsuzsanna Zsohar attend a Passover seder in Winnipeg on April 18, 2011.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

Stephen Harper

No response



Michael Ignatieff

Story continues below advertisement

Q: To which religious denomination or faith group do you belong?

My father was Russian Orthodox and my mother was Presbyterian, but I consider the orthodox side to have had the greatest influence on me.

Q: How will you mark the Easter holidays?

During this period of religious and family celebrations, Zsuzsanna and I attended a Passover Seder and will attend Easter mass and a Vaisakhi celebration.

Q: Should a leader's faith be an issue in an election campaign?

No. In Canada, we respect all denominations, that's the beauty of our country.

Q: Can a non-believer become prime minister?

Story continues below advertisement

Anyone who believes strongly in our country, respects the Charter, and is dedicated to the well-being of all Canadians, regardless of their religious beliefs, should be able to become prime minister.

Q: Can you describe a time of personal or political crisis when your faith guided you or helped you?

Like many people, I had a tough time when my parents died within a couple of years of each other and I got through it with the love, counsel and support of friends and family.

Jack Layton

Q: To what religious denomination or faith group do you belong to?

United Church

Story continues below advertisement

Q: How will you mark the Easter holidays?

I will be in Toronto Friday attending the St. Francis of Assisi Good Friday Procession. On Easter Sunday I will be attending a service at the Runnymede United Church.

Q: Should a leader's faith be an issue in an election campaign?

I believe that people's ideas and promises should be the issues of the campaign. It shouldn't matter if a policy idea from a place of faith or a practical experience - but people should judge for themselves how it will affect them and their community.

Q: Can a non-believer become prime minister?

Any Canadian should be able to become prime minister by earning the confidence of the Canadians who elect them, no matter what their faith status might be. A prime minister needs be able to reach out and talk with people from all kinds of different backgrounds - bringing people together from diverse backgrounds is an important leadership trait.

Q: Can you describe a time of personal or political crisis when your faith guided you or helped you?

Some aspects of one's faith and spirituality, especially in difficult times, really should remain private.

Gilles Duceppe

Declined comment, but has previously confirmed his atheism.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Authors
Parliamentary reporter

A member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery since 1999, Bill Curry worked for The Hill Times and the National Post prior to joining The Globe in Feb. 2005. Originally from North Bay, Ont., Bill reports on a wide range of topics on Parliament Hill, with a focus on finance. More

Parliamentary reporter

Gloria Galloway has been a journalist for almost 30 years. She worked at the Windsor Star, the Hamilton Spectator, the National Post, the Canadian Press and a number of small newspapers before being hired by The Globe and Mail as deputy national editor in 2001. Gloria returned to reporting two years later and joined the Ottawa bureau in 2004. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.