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Bloc calls for ban on kirpan from Parliament

Liberal MP dismisses ‘fear-mongering’ over Sikh dagger


 

One day after security guards at the Quebec legislature denied entry to four Sikhs because some were carrying a kirpan—the ceremonial dagger worn by Sikhs—the Bloc Québécois promised to take up the issue with the House of Commons’ all-party decision-making body. This is the latest chapter in the debate over the kirpan in Quebec, which some Sikhs keep against the skin and under clothing. Bloc whip Claude DeBellefeuille says “it’s not a debate about religious symbols or a social debate above and beyond that. It is really a security question and we have to look again at our practices.” At least one Liberal MP who wears the kirpan in the Commons, the Mississauga-Brampton South MP Navdeep Bains, does not agree. He accused the Bloc of seeking to make political gains from the controversy. “I think it’s fear-mongering at its best,” he said.

CBC News


 

Bloc calls for ban on kirpan from Parliament

  1. A Quebec full of prejudice and hate? Nah…couldn't be…it's not like they ignore human rights, advocate the supremacy of their race and culture, and systematically try and assimilate immigrants…

  2. A Quebec full of prejudice and hate? Nah…couldn't be…it's not like they ignore human rights, advocate the supremacy of their race and culture, and systematically try and assimilate immigrants…

    • Exactly. And the Bloc is such a nice party. They're socialists, and they're nationalists. You could call them National-Socialists if you want.

  3. Stand your ground on this, Quebec. Many of us are getting sick of special privileges to accommodate the silly practices and entitlements that some people demand in the name of their so-called religion.

  4. Stand your ground on this, Quebec. Many of us are getting sick of special privileges to accommodate the silly practices and entitlements that some people demand in the name of their so-called religion.

  5. So we should ask a 82 year old lady to remove here gel breast implant at airport security and not a dagger in a secure area like the legislature…I question myself, what kind of declining society we have become.

  6. So we should ask a 82 year old lady to remove here gel breast implant at airport security and not a dagger in a secure area like the legislature…I question myself, what kind of declining society we have become.

    • No, we should not ask an 82 year old woman to remove her gel implant – the security at the Calgary airport apologized for that and rightly so. However, if you have been on the other blogs in Macleans online, you have already learned from the Sikhs who are blogging that the "daggers" are almost always dull and blunt so they are not really weapons. Also, you know that the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that it is a religious right for them to carry them into schools and other govt. buildings.

      • The key word here is "almost" – some Sikhs DO carry versions capable of use as weapons and use them as such. We have recently had some such instances here in Brampton.

        I believe in religious freedom up to a point – that point being where the expression of that religion jeopardizes the safety of others. A weapon is a weapon is a weapon.

        So what is the solution? Some Sikhs carry versions that are clearly not weapons – and those won't (or shouln't) be any more of a security concern than a crucifix. Maybe it's time to set out in law some limits as to types of kirpans that can legally be carried, and then any which fall outside become illegal concealed weapons.

        As to that SCC ruling: I think they blew it on that one. I'm no more a believer in SCC infallibility than I am papal infallibility.

        • I think the security at the legislative buildings can see if the blades are sharp or dull and blunt and react accordingly.

          This fear and paranoia is getting quite out of hand. We live in what is probably the safest country in the world (with the exception of some of those really tiny countries). I (knock on wood) live in a city of one million people and I never feel afraid. I take several flights a years, many to the US and every time I thank goodness for our common sense in Canada and our refusal to give in to the fear that someone is always trying to kill us. I know that everytime George Bush's ratings fell, they issued a yellow alert (hightened terror alert). If you happened to be
          at a US airport that day, it was likely to be slow going and they would checking over your passport multiple times. Once, they even looked under our car with a mirror. That was in Tampa Bay.

          If we take away these people's rights to carry something that likely isn't dangerous, (and lets be serious how many people could one person with a Kirpan attack before they were subdued) we have let the terrorists win.

          • But that's the very issue here: people are questioning the judgment of the security force in the Quebec legislature and accusing them of bigotry. With clear-cut rules, there's less room for misjudgment – or politicization.

          • I don't think they even looked at the Kirpans to assess whether or not they were sharp or dull and blunt. Yes, there should be clear cut rules – respect a person's religious rights whenever possible – unless there is a clear danger – it is a large, sharp knife.

  7. I would rather ban seperatist traitors from the House of Commons before I extended a ban to the Sikhs.

  8. I would rather ban seperatist traitors from the House of Commons before I extended a ban to the Sikhs.

    • I think we could have both if we had the stones to demand it. The easier fight is obviously the Kirpan thing. But in my heart of hearts, I hear what you're saying about the Bloc. They need to be driven out of the national House.

  9. It strikes me as hilarious that Canadians are supposed to be known for their open-minded and accepting society. This is clearly not the case, especially with comments like "special privileges to accommodate the silly practices and entitlements that some people demand in the name of their so-called religion". It's pretty clear that aside from being ignorant (ever heard of the charter of rights and freedoms, where such "privileges" are guaranteed?), it seems my fellow Canadians are also xenophobic and racist. Now THAT is upsetting.

  10. It strikes me as hilarious that Canadians are supposed to be known for their open-minded and accepting society. This is clearly not the case, especially with comments like "special privileges to accommodate the silly practices and entitlements that some people demand in the name of their so-called religion". It's pretty clear that aside from being ignorant (ever heard of the charter of rights and freedoms, where such "privileges" are guaranteed?), it seems my fellow Canadians are also xenophobic and racist. Now THAT is upsetting.

    • There is nothing racist about not allowing WEAPONS, and they are weapons, into our government buildings. Security comes first and the fact that Sihks could compromise and wear a small kirpan on a necklace or bracelet to satisfy their religious requirements but don't speaks volumes to how far they are willing to go to accomodate everyone else. Make them wear helmets while riding motorcycles, make them wear the RCMP mounties hat and if they don't like any of that they are free to leave to go back to wherever they came from in the first place. We have certain rules and traditions that we all follow as fellow Canadians and I'm sure it's the same in their countries, we don't try to change them and the only reason they try to change us is because they know if we don't fold people like you will play the race card. Open your eyes, the rest of the world is far more racist now than Canada. All of us have the option to leave this land anytime we want, abusing the hospitality so graciously given to most immigrants is unnacceptable and has to stop.

      • Apparently the Kirpans are dull and blunt – so they aren't weapons. You have already lost in your bid to have Sikh RCMP officers wear the mountie hat. The Supreme Court of Canada allows Sikh kids to take the Kirpans to school. Many Sikhs were born in Canada. Therefore, if they go back to where they came from, they end up back here. We don't have the "rules and traditions" you are alluding to which seem to suggest that people best conform to the western world way or they are not welcome in Canada. However, I do agree some Canadians are trying to establish those rules and customs. As for the rest of the world being "far more racist than Canada"……I guess what your saying is that we are racist, we just aren't as racist as everybody else so it is okay to be the little bit racist that we are. Now, unless you are a first nations person, Steve, you too are an immigrant or the great-grandchild/granchild/child of an immigrant. We all came to this country – My family 150 years ago – looking for freedom, safety and prosperity. These people are not abusing anyone's hospitality, they are just questioning why some would want to limit their religious freedom.

        • Apparently the Kirpans are dull and blunt – so they aren't weapons

          Good. My uncle owns a shotgun that's seized up. It's not a weapon either, and he should be allowed to carry it into the House of Commons should he decide to visit.

  11. is it or is it not a knife? If it is then it should be banned.

  12. is it or is it not a knife? If it is then it should be banned.

    • I agree, if anybody else tried to enter with any other knife on his belt he would be denied entry! A knife is a knife! Period! Use common sense people! Oh I forgot common sense in this country left a long time ago!

    • Exactly my point.

      If this is a knife, you will not be able to come in because knives are not allowed in this building. Easy, straight forward, simple and to the point. Everything else is static noise.

      • So, if the security checks each kirpan and disallows those that are sharp, will that satisfy you?

  13. I agree, if anybody else tried to enter with any other knife on his belt he would be denied entry! A knife is a knife! Period! Use common sense people! Oh I forgot common sense in this country left a long time ago!

  14. Exactly my point.

    If this is a knife, you will not be able to come in because knives are not allowed in this building. Easy, straight forward, simple and to the point. Everything else is static noise.

  15. This is a non-issue as far as federal politics is involved. It's a PR move since that's really the only thing the Bloc can do.

  16. This is a non-issue as far as federal politics is involved. It's a PR move since that's really the only thing the Bloc can do.

  17. There is nothing racist about not allowing WEAPONS, and they are weapons, into our government buildings. Security comes first and the fact that Sihks could compromise and wear a small kirpan on a necklace or bracelet to satisfy their religious requirements but don't speaks volumes to how far they are willing to go to accomodate everyone else. Make them wear helmets while riding motorcycles, make them wear the RCMP mounties hat and if they don't like any of that they are free to leave to go back to wherever they came from in the first place. We have certain rules and traditions that we all follow as fellow Canadians and I'm sure it's the same in their countries, we don't try to change them and the only reason they try to change us is because they know if we don't fold people like you will play the race card. Open your eyes, the rest of the world is far more racist now than Canada. All of us have the option to leave this land anytime we want, abusing the hospitality so graciously given to most immigrants is unnacceptable and has to stop.

  18. Exactly. And the Bloc is such a nice party. They're socialists, and they're nationalists. You could call them National-Socialists if you want.

  19. A Liberal MP wears one in the House, but, that's not the same as a visitor entering the Legislature. If a very detailed investigation is made of anyone carrying a knife, or ceremonial dagger, into the house then it would be acceptable.

  20. I think there should be a kirpan registry. We could just get sikhs to fill out a few forms, pay a few fees. If it prevents even just one kirpan murder, it'll be worth it!

  21. A Liberal MP wears one in the House, but, that's not the same as a visitor entering the Legislature. If a very detailed investigation is made of anyone carrying a knife, or ceremonial dagger, into the house then it would be acceptable.

    • Neither is acceptable to me.

  22. I think there should be a kirpan registry. We could just get sikhs to fill out a few forms, pay a few fees. If it prevents even just one kirpan murder, it'll be worth it!

    • Don't forget the cost… probably should come in around 2 million bucks… or something… maybe 2 billion… I don't know, whatever… 2 million, 2 billion, whats the difference… Anyhoo… great idea… I'm really super serial… and it is worth it! LOL

  23. Double standards (being the only 'standards' they possess) are all Liberals understand. It is OK to force an 82 year old grandmother to expose her prosthetic breast implant while we must allow vocal, often violent minorities to have their way. How did we deteriorate so badly in 40 or so short years. Trudeau destroyed the most beautiful country on earth. Heil Troo-doe

  24. Double standards (being the only 'standards' they possess) are all Liberals understand. It is OK to force an 82 year old grandmother to expose her prosthetic breast implant while we must allow vocal, often violent minorities to have their way. How did we deteriorate so badly in 40 or so short years. Trudeau destroyed the most beautiful country on earth. Heil Troo-doe

  25. This Ignatieff will do anything to get votes.

  26. This Ignatieff will do anything to get votes.

  27. I think we could have both if we had the stones to demand it. The easier fight is obviously the Kirpan thing. But in my heart of hearts, I hear what you're saying about the Bloc. They need to be driven out of the national House.

  28. No, we should not ask an 82 year old woman to remove her gel implant – the security at the Calgary airport apologized for that and rightly so. However, if you have been on the other blogs in Macleans online, you have already learned from the Sikhs who are blogging that the "daggers" are almost always dull and blunt so they are not really weapons. Also, you know that the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that it is a religious right for them to carry them into schools and other govt. buildings.

  29. Neither is acceptable to me.

  30. So, if the security checks each kirpan and disallows those that are sharp, will that satisfy you?

  31. Tempest in a teapot, Even though the government allows sharp scissors, letter openers, knives and box cutters they have a problem with a dull short symbolic religious symbol that is as dangerous as a rubber butter knife. However xenophobes will howl because it is in their nature.

  32. Tempest in a teapot, Even though the government allows sharp scissors, letter openers, knives and box cutters they have a problem with a dull short symbolic religious symbol that is as dangerous as a rubber butter knife. However xenophobes will howl because it is in their nature.

    • The thing is, not all of them are so dull and harmless: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2010/04/07

      If they were, then carrying them wouldn't be contentious. If it's a weapon, religious rhetoric does nothing to change its nature. It's still a concealed weapon. Any of the rest of us would be arrested for carrying a concealed weapon; accomodation of religious and cultural differences should not mean different laws for different groups.

  33. The key word here is "almost" – some Sikhs DO carry versions capable of use as weapons and use them as such. We have recently had some such instances here in Brampton.

    I believe in religious freedom up to a point – that point being where the expression of that religion jeopardizes the safety of others. A weapon is a weapon is a weapon.

    So what is the solution? Some Sikhs carry versions that are clearly not weapons – and those won't (or shouln't) be any more of a security concern than a crucifix. Maybe it's time to set out in law some limits as to types of kirpans that can legally be carried, and then any which fall outside become illegal concealed weapons.

    As to that SCC ruling: I think they blew it on that one. I'm no more a believer in SCC infallibility than I am papal infallibility.

  34. The thing is, not all of them are so dull and harmless: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2010/04/07

    If they were, then carrying them wouldn't be contentious. If it's a weapon, religious rhetoric does nothing to change its nature. It's still a concealed weapon. Any of the rest of us would be arrested for carrying a concealed weapon; accomodation of religious and cultural differences should not mean different laws for different groups.

  35. Apparently the Kirpans are dull and blunt – so they aren't weapons. You have already lost in your bid to have Sikh RCMP officers wear the mountie hat. The Supreme Court of Canada allows Sikh kids to take the Kirpans to school. Many Sikhs were born in Canada. Therefore, if they go back to where they came from, they end up back here. We don't have the "rules and traditions" you are alluding to which seem to suggest that people best conform to the western world way or they are not welcome in Canada. However, I do agree some Canadians are trying to establish those rules and customs. As for the rest of the world being "far more racist than Canada"……I guess what your saying is that we are racist, we just aren't as racist as everybody else so it is okay to be the little bit racist that we are. Now, unless you are a first nations person, Steve, you too are an immigrant or the great-grandchild/granchild/child of an immigrant. We all came to this country – My family 150 years ago – looking for freedom, safety and prosperity. These people are not abusing anyone's hospitality, they are just questioning why some would want to limit their religious freedom.

  36. I think the security at the legislative buildings can see if the blades are sharp or dull and blunt and react accordingly.

    This fear and paranoia is getting quite out of hand. We live in what is probably the safest country in the world (with the exception of some of those really tiny countries). I (knock on wood) live in a city of one million people and I never feel afraid. I take several flights a years, many to the US and every time I thank goodness for our common sense in Canada and our refusal to give in to the fear that someone is always trying to kill us. I know that everytime George Bush's ratings fell, they issued a yellow alert (hightened terror alert). If you happened to be
    at a US airport that day, it was likely to be slow going and they would checking over your passport multiple times. Once, they even looked under our car with a mirror. That was in Tampa Bay.

    If we take away these people's rights to carry something that likely isn't dangerous, (and lets be serious how many people could one person with a Kirpan attack before they were subdued) we have let the terrorists win.

  37. But that's the very issue here: people are questioning the judgment of the security force in the Quebec legislature and accusing them of bigotry. With clear-cut rules, there's less room for misjudgment – or politicization.

  38. A concealed face or a concealed weapon, both are security risks. Both should be banned. Religion should be private and kept at home.

  39. A concealed face or a concealed weapon, both are security risks. Both should be banned. Religion should be private and kept at home.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Well said.

  40. Since when did we allow ourselves to imitate those south of the border and become so frightened of everything and anything?
    You could do as much damage with a biro, self propelling pencil or even a pair of nail clippers which are all likely to be more available for use, than this glorified letter opener.
    I love listening to the culture warriors talk all brave about fighting their enemies, but who then wet their pants at the first sign of "the other" with "something strange" in their possession.
    Why don't we grow up, act like adults and stop being frightened of our own shadows?

  41. Since when did we allow ourselves to imitate those south of the border and become so frightened of everything and anything?
    You could do as much damage with a biro, self propelling pencil or even a pair of nail clippers which are all likely to be more available for use, than this glorified letter opener.
    I love listening to the culture warriors talk all brave about fighting their enemies, but who then wet their pants at the first sign of "the other" with "something strange" in their possession.
    Why don't we grow up, act like adults and stop being frightened of our own shadows?

  42. For better or for ill, why do opponents of the Bloc's motion keep attacking it as "un-Canadian"? They're the Bloc Quebecois! They don't care!

  43. For better or for ill, why do opponents of the Bloc's motion keep attacking it as "un-Canadian"? They're the Bloc Quebecois! They don't care!

  44. Apparently the Kirpans are dull and blunt – so they aren't weapons

    Good. My uncle owns a shotgun that's seized up. It's not a weapon either, and he should be allowed to carry it into the House of Commons should he decide to visit.

  45. Don't forget the cost… probably should come in around 2 million bucks… or something… maybe 2 billion… I don't know, whatever… 2 million, 2 billion, whats the difference… Anyhoo… great idea… I'm really super serial… and it is worth it! LOL

  46. I think rather then do that, the Government should mandate that everyone entering a government building be required to wear a functional sword. Your choice of course as to what type of sword.

  47. I think rather then do that, the Government should mandate that everyone entering a government building be required to wear a functional sword. Your choice of course as to what type of sword.

  48. Unless you see each and every dagger, there is no guarantee that it will be blunt or unsharpened. Calling it a weapon is perfectly acceptable.

    It all boils down to “intent” on whether to use it as a weapon against other people, or to use it to satisfy religious requirements.

    That being said, the Kirpan has been used as a weapon in the past against other individuals, but the consequences of that action should rest with the person who wielded the Kirpan in such a manner. We shouldn’t blame the entire religion based on the actions of a few. (OK…someone mention Muslim’s here…and the apparent contradiction)

    Of course…given that this is Canada…..it should come as no surprise. We do have a useless gun registry that does exactly that.

  49. Unless you see each and every dagger, there is no guarantee that it will be blunt or unsharpened. Calling it a weapon is perfectly acceptable.

    It all boils down to “intent” on whether to use it as a weapon against other people, or to use it to satisfy religious requirements.

    That being said, the Kirpan has been used as a weapon in the past against other individuals, but the consequences of that action should rest with the person who wielded the Kirpan in such a manner. We shouldn’t blame the entire religion based on the actions of a few. (OK…someone mention Muslim’s here…and the apparent contradiction)

    Of course…given that this is Canada…..it should come as no surprise. We do have a useless gun registry that does exactly that.

  50. The Sikh community has said over and over that its a religious symbol. The kirpan has been allowed in schools, Government buildings and is carried into all public areas. To my knowlege there has never been an act of violence where a kirpan has been used. Ther are many things which people carry on thier person every day which could be used as a weapon. Pens,pencils , hair clips, …etc So ,are we not being a little pariniod?
    This is an act of desperation from a backwards political party.

  51. The Sikh community has said over and over that its a religious symbol. The kirpan has been allowed in schools, Government buildings and is carried into all public areas. To my knowlege there has never been an act of violence where a kirpan has been used. Ther are many things which people carry on thier person every day which could be used as a weapon. Pens,pencils , hair clips, …etc So ,are we not being a little pariniod?
    This is an act of desperation from a backwards political party.

    • "To my knowlege there has never been an act of violence where a kirpan has been used."

      Google "kirpan Brampton" and read all about one. Ban them? No. Restrict size & require that they be blunt? Yes – and treat anyone carrying one that falls outside those restrictions as one would any non-Sikh carrying a similar-sized blade, should circumstances require it.

      (And before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, a cop would need more grounds than someone being Sikh to demand to inspect the kirpan; reasonable search and seizure rules would apply)

  52. I don't think they even looked at the Kirpans to assess whether or not they were sharp or dull and blunt. Yes, there should be clear cut rules – respect a person's religious rights whenever possible – unless there is a clear danger – it is a large, sharp knife.

  53. If you can call a Hockey stick a weapon in some circumstances,than a kirpan is a weapon. Plain and simple and does not belong in public.

    This used to be Canada after all ( before mass immigration that is) . We don’t go out taking knives into public places unless we are looking for trouble.

  54. If you can call a Hockey stick a weapon in some circumstances,than a kirpan is a weapon. Plain and simple and does not belong in public.
    This used to be Canada after all ( before mass immigration that is) . We don’t go out taking knives into public places unless we are looking for trouble.

    • Greg says…'''.We don't go out taking Knives into public places unless we are looking for trouble'''….Disagree, I have been carrying a Jacknife in my pocket since I was ten years old, my Son Also,since he was ten years old… (now 32 years old ) my wife carry's a small one in her purse..( cut the seatbelt off a woman that was upside down after a car accident. ) and none of us ever go looking for trouble or have been in trouble because of them….Just saying…..

      • Completely agree. The kirpan should be treated like any other knife – allowed to be carried as long as it doesn't exceed legal blade size, and subject to the same level of security restrictions. If a pocket knife isn't allowed, a sharpened kirpan isn't either.

        If it's dull and blunt (as most purportedly are), more flexibility in terms of security is warranted [i.e. treat it as you would a crucifix].

  55. Couldn’t agree more. Well said.

  56. Greg says…'''.We don't go out taking Knives into public places unless we are looking for trouble'''….Disagree, I have been carrying a Jacknife in my pocket since I was ten years old, my Son Also,since he was ten years old… (now 32 years old ) my wife carry's a small one in her purse..( cut the seatbelt off a woman that was upside down after a car accident. ) and none of us ever go looking for trouble or have been in trouble because of them….Just saying…..

  57. Stand you ground Quebec, you have support in Alberta!

  58. Stand you ground Quebec, you have support in Alberta!

    • no, you don't.
      stand your ground Quebec, but you won't get far.

  59. "To my knowlege there has never been an act of violence where a kirpan has been used."

    Google "kirpan Brampton" and read all about one. Ban them? No. Restrict size & require that they be blunt? Yes – and treat anyone carrying one that falls outside those restrictions as one would any non-Sikh carrying a similar-sized blade, should circumstances require it.

    (And before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, a cop would need more grounds than someone being Sikh to demand to inspect the kirpan; reasonable search and seizure rules would apply)

  60. Completely agree. The kirpan should be treated like any other knife – allowed to be carried as long as it doesn't exceed legal blade size, and subject to the same level of security restrictions. If a pocket knife isn't allowed, a sharpened kirpan isn't either.

    If it's dull and blunt (as most purportedly are), more flexibility in terms of security is warranted [i.e. treat it as you would a crucifix].

  61. I hope the ROC will understand why we are doing this.

    You migh call us traitor or racist (Quebecois), but the fact is: There is a limit to accomadation.

    There is no place for tager in the Assemblée Nationale.

    When a rasta will ask to smoke pot because of religion beleive in the House of Common, will we let him the right to do it?

  62. no, you don't.
    stand your ground Quebec, but you won't get far.

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