24 April 2013

Judge rules woman must remove niqab to testify


A Muslim woman must remove her niqab before testifying against two men accused of sexually assaulting her three decades ago, an Ontario judge ruled Wednesday.
The landmark decision by Justice Norris Weisman comes after years of legal wrangling, pitting the accused’s right to a fair trial against the complainant’s freedom of religion. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, where a split decision effectively sent it back to the lower court.
While Judge Weisman wrestled with the implications of making the woman — who can be identified only as N.S. — choose between her religious convictions and her desire to seek justice, he ultimately gave greater weight to the potential negative consequences for the accused.

17 April 2013

Editorial: Banning turbans on the soccer pitch is ridiculous

Editorial: Banning turbans on the soccer pitch is ridiculous

There is something distinctly perverse about the obsession some people in this province have with what people wear on their heads.
The latest example in this respect is the Fédération de soccer du Québec’s arbitrary refusal to allow young Sikh soccer players to wear turbans on the province’s soccer pitches.
It follows a row that persisted for some years over female players of Muslim persuasion being banned from soccer fields if they insisted on wearing head scarves. That ridiculous ban was finally lifted last year. And since then, there have been no reports of any mishaps on a soccer field, here or anywhere else, that can be attributed to the wearing of a hijab.

10 April 2013

Nordic Model: Canada lags on childhood well-being, UNICEF says

Canada lags on childhood well-being, UNICEF says - Canada - CBC News

Greece, the United States, Lithuania, Latvia and Romania were at the bottom of the overall ranking. The survey excluded some wealthy countries, including Japan, Mexico and Australia, due to a lack of data.

01 April 2013

William Johnson: Quebec’s so-called right to self-determination

Opinion: Quebec’s so-called right to self-determination

MONTREAL — The House of Commons is debating a Bloc Québécois motion to abrogate the Clarity Act, against the backdrop of the Parti Québécois continuing to seek “winning conditions” for another referendum. Under the circumstances, a disinformation campaign was to be expected.
Writing in Le Devoir last week, Université de Montréal law professor Daniel Turp — who served in Parliament as a Bloquiste and in the National Assembly as a Péquiste — upholds Quebec’s right to secede unilaterally, despite the contrary conclusion of the Supreme Court of Canada.
He claims that “the adoption in 1977 of the Loi sur la consultation populaire remains the fundamental basis for the collective right of the Québécois nation to enact its political and constitutional future.” In fact, the 1977 white paper that preceded and explained that bill said exactly the opposite: “The referendums that will be held under the law that the government intends to present would have a consultative character. Indeed, under the present constitution, it is impossible to confer a direct legislative power to a referendum process, because that would go against the powers and functions that are reserved for the lieutenant-governor. This means that, to give legal effect to a referendum, it would be necessary to make use of the processes already available to amend laws, whether these be constitutional in nature or ordinary.”