Who wants to have a religious freedom debate? - Macleans.ca

Who wants to have a religious freedom debate?


In light of this, the Bloc Quebecois apparently wonders if Parliament should ban the kirpan.

“The National Assembly’s decision to prevent access to people carrying the kirpan is completely legitimate,” said Claude DeBellefeuille, the Bloc whip, in a statement. “It’s a justified decision, and it’s maybe time for Parliament to adopt similar rules.”

Via Twitter, Liberal MP Navdeep Bains notes that he wears his kirpan in the House of Commons.


Who wants to have a religious freedom debate?

  1. It's almost certain the House CANNOT ban the kirpan.

  2. Mr Wherry, you're a wicked sadistic man….or a masochist… on here. I'm not sure which. LOL

  3. Decisions regarding the safety of MPs, HoC employees and visitors to the Canadian parliament must be made by security experts, not politicians.

  4. For Pete's sake, it always comes down to a tiny fraction of hard-core fundamental whatevers who challenge the general population's tolerance with their own intolerance.

  5. And by the courts and human rights tribunals that have jurisdiction over this kind of thing.

  6. Hasn't the SC spoken on this…somewhere…sometime?

    Stalling while i look it up.

  7. Well if this doesn't scream "Xenophobia". Here's the Bloc taking a non-existant problem and trying to foist Quebec's colossal PR screwup on the rest of us to make themselves not look quite so bad.

    Lets see of the rest of the parties have any sense and vote this nonsense down, or if they pander to Quebec at the expense of the rest of us yet again.

  8. Kirpans came up in a case called Multani v. Commission Scolaire.

  9. The Bloc is just taking another run at their separatist cause…electioneering actually….on the grounds 'Canada' is multi-cultural' but Quebec is 'pur laine'.

    "Multiculturalism is not a Quebec value."

  10. That is SOMETIMES the case. The singular example being when a Saskatchewan marriage counsellour wanted to not erform gay civil marriages.

  11. Whoa, politicians taking a stand against political correctness. Almost makes me want to move to Quebec.

  12. Check with the cleaners to see if your hood is ready. Meantime I'll kick in for your bus ticket.

  13. I don't know that courts and human rights tribunals have jurisdiction over safety rules, unless someone protests that the rules are discriminatory.

  14. LOL….oh relax thumb-monkeys….I'm joking with Mr Wherry, seeing as there's a thread further down with over 160 posts by people who nearly came to ….ahem…daggers….over this question.

    So he's either a sadist, a masochist….or very brave…by being so open about it. Chill.

  15. That would indeed be the case in which they would be able to decide the matter.

  16. When in Canada, do as Canadians DO !!!

  17. Ping

  18. They are Canadians.

  19. Just sit back, crack open a cold one, and watch in amusement as the Bloc and the NDP fight it out over an issue that affects a handful of voters. Fun times!

  20. We need a national strategy about this, as well as a Long Kirpan Registry. The Registry should cost at least a billion dollars, and above all, must be completely ineffective. I think the Bloc should look to the liberals for leadership on this issue.

  21. Who wants to have a religious freedom debate?

    Because reasonable accommodation went so well in Quebec the last time.

    I wonder if Maclean's can come up with a cover to make everyone in the HoC saddened again…

  22. You mean like invite people to your house, at the last minute ban them from coming in, then try to get your neighbors to pass a similar rule which would kick out people already IN their houses?

    Because that's what this really is. The Quebec government invited a bunch of Sikhs to the national assembly… and forgot to mention the no kirpan thing. So they weren't allowed in. After making themselves look like idiots for that, Quebec Nationalists now want Ottawa to do the same thing to take some of the heat off.

    We'll just ignore the several Sikh MPs already in the House of Commons and the total lack of anything resembling an actual issue ever caused by allowing them to carry the kirpan. No, no, we need to ban something because Quebec did instead of focusing on actual issues (like the economy, Afghanistan, crime, democratic renewal…).

  23. Attention K-Mart shoppers: The Supreme Court has ALREADY RULED ON THIS. The Quebec National Assembly acted unconstitutionally.

  24. YES. 2006, the Multani decision.

  25. A quick check of the web shows that the kirpan is banned in India's Parliament as well as the European Parliament. It is also banned in courtrooms and commercial aircraft in Canada. So this is evidently not a matter of unswerving principle, just of specific practice. What the Boc proposes is temporary restriction (while visiting Parliament) in the interest of safety of the person, one that is already applied elsewhere. Can not reasonable accommodation be a two way street?

    Or put it another way; why is it necessary for one group of people to feel less safe so another group doesn't feel offended?

  26. It's so easy to dismiss anyone that doesn't agree with you by calling them a racist. Sorry for not wanting to bow down to every silly religious tradition and implementing a bit of common sense.

  27. Lol!!!

  28. JMHO but the gay couple would have furthered their cause had they chosen the high road and simply went to another commissioner. There are only four out of 400 Sask.commissioner that feel this way.

  29. Well if you don't want to obey the law in Canada because you don't like a certain race or religious practice, I don't know what else it would be called.

  30. HAHAHAHA ROFL !!!! – well done – although I shouldn't laugh too hard as after all watching how the Liberals have been doing of late it wouldn't surprise me to see them actualy propose one !!!

  31. Well for one thing, this isn't either India or Europe….Canada has guaranteed freedom of religion.

    Unless of course you want to take up other European or Indian practices?

  32. ping

  33. I thought that reasonable too. But i guess if GM is now legal, and the law being the law…

  34. Shaking my head. And they wonder why 6 out of 10 new business class immigrants leave Quebec as soon as they can, re article today.

  35. Security people do not override the politicians.

    They can advise, suggest, recommend….however they cannot override.

  36. Oh fer cryin out loud…..ping

  37. Yup….can't attract immgrants, business or otherwise…like doctors fer instance….if they're that unfriendly.

  38. I already told you: common sense. I don't like polygamy or animal ritual sacrifice either. SRRY.

  39. psiclone, can't blame the libs for being a bit desperate. They understand you got to get elected first, and that's what they are trying to do. But, they are throwing an awful lot of indignation, fearmongering, and phony outrage at the electorate, and my guess is, it lacks any substance or sincerity, and therefore will be ineffective. The cons, driven by the need to stay in power, are using "attack" ads which will be more effective only because they are truthful.

  40. Priests and religious groups can deny marriage if it doesn't meet there conditions. Who wants to be married by someone opposed to them being married anyways?

  41. A 'religious marriage' is just a fancy ceremony…the paperwork you sign is the legality.

  42. But that's just your opinion….not the law. SRRY.

  43. Treading closer to saying the right to safety is less than the right to religion.

  44. Check the charter. There is no 'right to safety'. Nothing in life is 'safe'.

  45. Polygamy is illegal? Same with child marriage. And so should carrying a concealed weapon under the guise of religious freedom.

  46. Decisions regarding safety absolutely need to be considered by politicians so that we restrain the so-called security experts and prevent our rights in a civil society from being trampled and subverted by authoritarians like happened in Toronto during the G20.

  47. Legal Rights

    Life, liberty and security of person

    7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

  48. Hey buddy…I'm an atheist. I find all religion crazy.

    However freedom of religion is guaranteed in Canada…in the most basic law in our land.

  49. Yup, by the govt….not by worrying about people practicing their religion.

  50. So is it fundamental rights or legal rights under the charter that take precedent?
    They also can't do unwarranted searches but that's out the window with current airport security measures isn't it?

  51. You must be thinking of the United States. Click a few channels to the left and you'll discover that Canada is the world leader in collective rights beginning with the Proclamation of 1763, the continuing recognition of aboriginal title in treaties and subsequent court rulings, French language rights, religious schools, negotiation of non-participation in military for pacifists immigrant groups (i.e. Doukhobors, Mennonites) and collectivist property rights for others (Hutterites colonies, Icelander colony) on through to the recognition of religious freedoms and multiculturalism in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    It's a bit late, and not just a bit unCanadian, to start expecting everyone who comes along to assimilate. When in Canada do we speak some Ojibway or Cree like the "Canadians Do?"

  52. They still officiate, and they can still deny on certain grounds to offer services.

  53. It really doesn't take that much effort to make them sad.

  54. All rights have limits, including freedom of religion. Religious people just need to stop with their wacky traditions that don't have a place in Western society. It only causes headaches and resentment.

  55. The Orange Order used to say the same sort of thing about Catholics.

  56. zzzz's

  57. The Supreme Court has not ruled on this. It has ruled on a child wearing a kirpan in school.

    However, the Supreme Court has not ruled that it is unconstitutional for the airline industry, for example, to ban the wearing of kirpan on board, as is the case. In areas where public safety is at risk, i.e., not a school room, the SC has not ruled.

  58. Someone should ask Mr. Bains if he wears his kirpan on commercial flights in Canada.

  59. Any proof that security at the National Assembly denied entry to these people because they are worrying about their religion?

  60. They can do what they like…it's just a fancy unnecessary ceremony

  61. Yes, amazing how people see their 'traditions' as normal….but everyone elses are 'wacky'.

    Plus how amazingly white and christian 'western society' has become. LOL

    So that the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs etc who built this society are now classed as 'headaches' causing 'resentment'

  62. «Que le kirpan soit un symbole religieux ou pas, ça demeure une arme blanche. Nos règlements se font sans égard aux valeurs religieuses.»

    Pierre Duchaine, directeur de la sécurité, Assemblée nationale.

  63. There's a name for the type of country where elected politicians can be dictated to by "security experts". It'll come to me…

  64. 'The four Sikhs had been invited to appear before a legislative committee debating a bill that deals with the reasonable accommodation of religious minorities.'

    They were told about the ceremonial kirpans ahead of time, yet still invited. Then they were publically denied entrance.

  65. Well, I guess if we're only talking about 4 people then there's no reason not to let those four people ignore the law.

    If I can show that less than 10% of Sikhs would refuse to remove their kirpan to attend the National Assembly, could we not also let that 10% ignore these security procedures?

  66. Petty bureaucrat

  67. Any proof that security denied them because they reasonably believed that these men posed a security risk?

  68. I love that we're now trying to rationalize the extension of our crazy (and in many cases pointless) airplane security procedures to even apply when one is NOT ON AN AIRPLANE.

    At what point do we stop people from bringing bottled water in to the National Assembly, and start setting up the body scanners in the lobby?

  69. It would be OK if the kirpans were made of ceremonial rubber and not iron.

  70. Or if people weren't so silly.

  71. I'm picturing Bonhomme wielding a Kirpan menacingly at a boat-load of newly arrived Chinese immigrants, with a speech bubble saying "Stay outta our Universities!" I'm sure that would cause sufficient grief.

  72. Carrying a knife on you at all times is WACKY and expecting everyone to make exceptions for you is selfish and annoying. They're lucky they only got turned away and weren't arrested.

  73. Lot's of people do…maybe it's you that's wacky.

    It's quite legal you know.

    They were invited Chris.

  74. If they were invited then they should have had the decency and respect to leave their weapons at home.

    And lots of people don't mix dairy with meat. It doesn't mean it's not wacky. Religions need to grow and change with civilization and not demand that we regress just to make them happy.

  75. Or you could have the decency and respect to stop being such an idiot about someone else's beliefs….not to mention the charter of rights.

    If you're trying to promote atheism, you're doing a dreadful job.

  76. Ping.

  77. I'm not promoting atheism. I'm denouncing dumb religions and beliefs and saying that we shouldn't coddle them and allow them to bend rules. Do they have a book they believe in? Let them carry that by their sides. No problem.

  78. Good thing you aren't in charge of anything….cuz that's a wholesale promotion of ignorance.

  79. So, does this mean I can now use "Navdeeped" as a verb?

    "See what he tweeted there? He really Navdeep-ed the Bloc"

  80. It's wacky to you.
    I expect to them, it's fairly normal.

  81. Could you at least go back and delete your pings after your comment becomes reada..

    ..sigh.. I just realized you can't, can you? Not a registered ID id.

  82. Uh. Given the recent court ruling, and the response of the gov't of Saskatchewan, I believe the gay couple furthered their cause by doing exactly what they did and not ignoring illegal discrimination.

    Incidentally.. since when is ignoring illegal activity "the high road"?

  83. More Kirpans, less crime.

  84. Yes you're right tobyornotoby.
    I'm a 12th generation quebecois, my family established in Charlevoix in 1648. Even though I'm also partly native (as pretty much every quebecois), I consider myself an immigrant. How canadian of me. I guess I'm a Frenchman or something, but I surely don't have any authority to tell immigrants what to do here.

  85. As I mentioned above, I actually think Leo is on to something. If Christian marriage commissioners can ignore one set of laws because of their religion, surely Sikhs can ignore another set of laws because of theirs!

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