25 August 2015

R v NS (2012): Niqab Rules Balance Religious Freedom and the Right to a Fair Trial - The Centre for Constitutional Studies

R v NS (2012): Niqab Rules Balance Religious Freedom and the Right to a Fair Trial - The Centre for Constitutional Studies

In R v NS,[1] decided on December 20, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on whether a witness could be allowed to wear a niqab[2] for
religious reasons while testifying in a criminal trial. The Court
determined that this issue would be examined on a case-by-case basis.
The following featured court ruling examines the Court’s four-part test
meant to balance the witness’ right to religious freedom (section 2(a)
of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter)) and the accused’s right to a fair trial (sections 7 and 11(d) of the Charter).[3]

If an accommodation is possible, do the salutary effects of accommodating the claimant outweigh the deleterious effects of doing so?[17]

Boilerplate Bilingual Signage Submission Letter

Dear Sir or Madam,

It is known that people are complaining about your disrespect for non-Francophone clientele, particularly at your XXX store in XXX Montreal as well as at your XXX store. Non-Francophones are being ignored and treated as second-class customers.

As you are aware, you have the legal right (according to the Quebec Charter of the French Language) to have English signage in your stores, as long as French is predominant.   You should respect the Charter and all your clientele as well. You have acquiesced to the Office Québécois de la Langue Française (and previously to the Office de la Langue Française) for close to 40 years; it is time for a change.

It would make good business sense to have your signage visible in both French and English.  Those who find bilingual signage an 'irritant' are hardline national-sovereignists, a great minority in Quebec.

You may also wish to tell your staff that they do not have to give the Anglophone/Allophone community a lesson in geography. We know we live in Quebec, so having some of your staff tell customers that <> is really not necessary nor welcome.

Respectfully yours,

21 August 2015

Tim Hortons'‏ bilingual service. Or not.

Hello ...
Thank you for your email inquiry.
Although a fair number of our Québec restaurants do already have bilingual menuboards, the ultimate decision to have both languages represented is left to the discretion of each individual Franchise Owner. This would explain why you may be visiting some locations that only have French menu boards. Having said this, it is our strong recommendation to all the QC restaurants that they do post bilingual menuboards in accordance with the standards being enforced by the "Office de la langue française".
In closing, I will forward your comments that you feel we should follow Second Cup's lead and make it a mandatory policy in all our QC restaurants. Unfortunately, we would not be able to confirm whether this policy will ever be adopted.

Have a great day!
The TDL Group Corp.
Guest Services Representative
Toll Free: 1-888-601-1616

17 August 2015

Translator: 1960s Ball Park French, to English. to 2010s OQLF French

Get 'em while they're hot!
biftek a la Hambourg = hamburger = hamburger (prev. hambourgeois)
saucisse fumee = hot dog = hot dog
frites = French fries = (pommes de terre) frites
liqueur = soft drink = boisson gazeuse
cacahuete = peanut = arachide
patate chips = potato chips = croustille

William Johnson: Parties continue to play politics with unity | National Post

William Johnson: Parties continue to play politics with unity | National Post

'[Mulcair] said: “Cette offre politique demeure au cœur de notre
approche auprès des Québécois,” this political offer remains at the
heart of our approach to Quebecers. So clearly the NDP’s doctrine on
secession is not obsolete or merely marginal. It is at the heart of the
Faustian bargain that Jack Layton and Thomas Mulcair proposed to
Quebecers: vote for us instead of the Bloc Québécois and we will deliver
in return a guarantee that Quebecers can secede unconditionally if that
is what they want.'

15 August 2015

Service in English is not a legal right in Quebec.

Michael Bergman, a lawyer who specializes in Quebec language laws, confirmed service in English is not a legal right.“Contrary to what I think many anglophone Quebecers believe, they have no right at all to receive a response in English. It is strictly a courtesy,” he said.
The language charter specifies if a citizen communicates to the government in a language other than French, it “may respond in that other language. But it doesn’t say that they must,” Bergman said.
“There is no constitutionally protected right for an anglophone to receive communications from the Quebec government or its bureaucracy,” he said.
The only areas where the right to speak English is constitutionally enshrined are the National Assembly and the courts, Bergman said.

13 August 2015


 Peter McKenna of The Chronicle Herald writes: “On the issue of any unilateral declaration of independence, the law is succinct: ‘Whereas the Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed that there is no right, under international law or under the Constitution of Canada, for the National Assembly, legislature or government of Quebec to effect the secession of Quebec from Canada unilaterally.’  It goes on to state categorically: ‘Whereas the Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed that, in Canada, the secession of a province, to be lawful, would require an amendment to the Constitution of Canada, that such an amendment would perforce require negotiations in relation to secession involving at least the governments of all of the provinces and the government of Canada.’ … Since provincial consent for a constitutional amendment codifying Quebec’s right to secession is highly unlikely, any future PQ government could only secede unilaterally by, in effect, breaking the law or through unconstitutional means.”

10 August 2015

William Johnson: A return to Meech Lake’s constitutional fairy tales


So Quebec provincial Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard wants to lead us back to the bogs and quicksands of Meech Lake. Non merci.
Couillard, like Robert Bourassa before him, thinks blackmail will serve Quebec’s ends. On Saturday, in concluding a party meeting, Couillard promised: “A [Quebec] government that I lead would not participate in a conference dealing with Senate reform until that agenda contains explicitly the recognition and the discussion of the five historic conditions of Quebec.”
The five constitutional amendments of the 1987 Meech Lake accord included the recognition of Quebec as a “distinct society,” with that distinctiveness to be promoted by the Quebec government. It offered Quebec new powers over the selection of immigrants and appointments to the Supreme Court of Canada, allowed Quebec to withdraw with compensation from federally-initiated shared-cost programs, and gave Quebec a veto over constitutional change to major institutions, such as reforming or abolishing the Senate.

31 July 2015

CCLA: When religious freedom should take a back seat to equality rights


In my view, both rights are fundamental for a society to be grounded in respect for human dignity. Indeed, in Canada, both rights are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – but the Charter, which applies to government action, would not directly apply to a commercial airline.
How far do we go to accommodate a sincerely held religious belief when it comes into conflict with the equality rights of someone else? If all rights are equal and there is no hierarchy, do we figure out these questions on a case-by-case basis? In Canada, decision-makers have ruled against a bed-and-breakfast owner who refused to rent to a gay couple. But some may ask, what about religious freedom? What about the innkeeper’s rights?
Personally, I don’t think that in a public or commercial space the religious beliefs of one person can be used to deny, or relegate (intentionally or not) as inferior, the equality rights of someone else. Religious freedoms are writ large and people are free to believe what they wish, and to act as they wish, short of causing harm to another. Gender segregation can and is upheld in private religious institutions freely attended by individuals – but in public spheres we must be vigilant about upholding the equality rights of all. If we wouldn’t tolerate the refusal to sit beside a racialized person, we shouldn’t tolerate sex discrimination, either.

Everyone has the fundamental freedom of religion ...

Everyone has the fundamental freedom of religion subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.