01.20.2011 03:31 PM


It’s been a while since I associated that word with Mr. Ignatieff.  In my view, it took some guts to say what he said, and where he said it.  Meanwhile, have Messrs. Harper or Layton said anything, anywhere?  Let the rest of us know in comments.


Ignatieff says kirpan is not a weapon and should be allowed in all legislatures (Kirpan-Denied-Que)
Source: The Canadian Press
Jan 20, 2011 14:26

– Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says the ceremonial dagger worn by devout Sikhs should not be considered a weapon.

Ignatieff’s position puts him at odds with the Quebec legislature, which earlier this week barred entry to a group of Sikhs who were wearing their kirpans.

It also clashes with a Bloc Quebecois proposal to have the kirpan banned from the House of Commons for security reasons.

Ignatieff says the kirpan should be allowed in all legislatures in Canada.

The Conservative government has yet to take a position on the issue, other than to refer it to Parliament’s security staff.

Ignatieff was in Montreal today as part of a cross-country tour of ridings the Liberals will target in the next election.


© 2011 The Canadian Press


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    crf says:

    What !!!!
    Iggy didn’t hop on the good ol’ bandwagon of stupidity?

    Clang me on the head with a heavy ceremonial mace!

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    Still Anonymous says:

    Didn’t Clinton do something similar in the ’92 campaign — what was it, speak at a black event to lecture them about morality or something?

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      VH says:

      What’s a “black event”? Have you ever used the phrase “white event” to describe a campaign event. If you have, did it have hoods? Just askin’.

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    bigcitylib says:

    I’m pretty sure the NDP did strengthen up their statement on this issue (though I can’t find the link right now). Nothing from Harper. Nothing from MP Uppal either, which is more disappointing.

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    A reader says:

    Come on, Warren. You know perfectly well you were sent the following release on Twitter over two hours ago.



    Now you’re going to make me quote it in full:

    “Statement by New Democrat Leader Jack Layton on the Kirpan
    Thu 20 Jan 2011

    It’s time to stop playing divisive, political games with Canadian’s religious beliefs. Canada has a reputation of tolerance and understanding, and we must continue to work together and embrace our differences.

    New Democrats are disappointed that the Bloc Quebecois wants to ban Sikhs from carrying their kirpans in the House of Commons. Ironically, the Bloc supported the NDP’s motion to recognize the Sikhs’ five religious articles of faith, including the kirpan. We’re saddened at their sudden change of position and support.

    The kirpan is an article of faith worn by all initiated Sikhs. It is not a weapon. The kirpan is one of five religious articles of faith, mandated to be worn at all times for initiated Sikh men and women.

    In 2001, the NDP was proud to introduce a motion in the House of Commons to recognize the importance of the “5 K’s”, the religious articles of faith for Sikhs. It was introduced by former NDP MP Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg-Transcona) but failed to pass when the Liberals refused to support it. Eventually, a motion by former NDP MP Judy Wasylyica-Leis (Winnipeg North) to recognize the “5 K’s” was accepted by all parties in 2006.

    Sikhs have been in Canada for over 100 years and their contributions to this country have been tremendous. We stand with the Sikh community in solidarity.”

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      Warren says:

      Come on, Alice. I wasn’t sent a goddamned thing.

      I thought you were styling your web site as non-partisan?

      Guess not.

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        Mr. Chamberlain says:

        OK, so you’re saying the NDP actually did something. This has the appearances of someone chasing a bus, shouting as they go about how they once sat in the front seat.

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    michael hale says:

    the same old Harper dilemma…

    He agrees with the Bloc’s xenophobia but Canadians don’t. He’ll swallow his pride/principles (as such) and go with the Libs/NDP on this one, but he won’t like it. Just one more way that he’s out of step.

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      Tim from Alberta says:

      I respecfully suggest that most Canadians do agree with the position taken by the bloc…..
      My understanding is that the kirpan was originally intended as a weapon of defense.To be used when all else failed.One student did use it in this context.Is it not possible that it could happen again?
      If not,why does it have to be made of metal?Why not plastic,wood or some other material??

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        michael hale says:

        I think it takes a particular kind of paranoia to think that any House is at risk of a stabbing. Not sure who we’re worried about there. But even putting aside the absurdity of the risk, the notion that we should ask someone to alter a centuries old religious tradition to ensure no MP is accidentally impaled during QP seems like overkill.

        I also doubt that most Canadians agree, but even if they do, religious freedom is entirely about the right of a minority to retain their own beliefs in the face of the majority.

        Having said all that, seeing you on this comment string is encouraging. I think you’re right that you do represent a large portion of Canadians and Warren’s comment string is one of the few places where we all share space.

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    orval says:

    I was very impressed by Liberal MP Navdeep Bains on Power Play today speaking about this. Dan Matheson was practically begging him to criticize the Conservatives on this (“pandering to their base” or some such nonsense) but MP Bains would have none of this, zeroing his criticism on the Bloc Quebecois for its horrible motion and the PQ for supporting the Assemble nationale’s bizarre decision (supported by the PQ opposition). Mr Bains showed a lot of class by not attempting to smear Harper. He explained about the Supreme Court of Canada decision about the kirpan not being a weapon and therefore not a security threat.

    The Government is absolutely right – the Sergeant-at-Arms is responsible for security on the Hill and does not take orders from the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition or Gilles Duceppe, who claims it is a “security” issue, not a religious freedom issue. Leave this issue of security to the official who is in charge of security, and keep politics out of it.

    If this is a foretaste of what the independent Quebec would be like, then I hope that the Bloc’s dream will never be realized. It would be heartening to hear from Lucien Bouchard how this motion shames Quebec, because it does.

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    new says:

    Harper report card in past 5 years

    Year one?how much he loves to increase hate especially toward Muslim in and out of Canada-A+

    year two- how much he loves to compete illegal criminal competition to win opposition parties especially Liberal funding B+

    year 3- How much he loves to do what he like to do especially when he win title of control frick to any jet and war equipment he like to buy and nobody can stop him so far C+

    year 4- how much he loves to clean mess of his employee human resources employee to hire better one for him especially in case like Colonel Russell Williams and Guregis D+

    year 5- How much he care about economic stimulla and Flaherty to made sure all conservative party gain minority who have job and majority loose job and no NDP pension plan respected right on-
    The last one is F word and I hate use F word in public

    Only god know what his plan is in 6th year can we handle him another 3 years how?

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    Dan says:

    Way to be Iggy!

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    Tim from Alberta says:

    Good to see that someone,other than myself,has noticed that Dan Matheson is definately anti Conservative.
    I don’t think that most Canadians would agree that this motion “shames” Quebec.
    It’s their house.they make and enforce rules that they feel are appropriate.They do not hesitate to inform all of those rules.If people want to live in that province……..live by the rules of that province!!!!

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      Namesake says:

      except that the BQ also wants to enforce this in _Canada’s_ House in Ottawa, too, there, eagle-eye.

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    Michael Watkins says:

    I agree with the stance Iggy and Layton have taken, but colour me unimpressed. I’m not about to jump up and down crying “Leader, leader, leader!” just because Michael and Jack reacted with common sense.

    Now if we see someone take a leadership position on something real tough, that’d be another story.


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    Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    C`mon people – it is just the Bloc being the Bloc – as usual.

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    C4SR says:

    The Sargeant-at-Arms doesn’t make the rules, he and his staff enforces the rules.

    The House can set the rules.

    In coalition with the Bloc, the Tories would have a majority on this question. they could change the rules.

    That’s why it is important for the Harper Tories to tell Canadians what they really think about this.

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      Namesake says:

      would that be a coalition of the Separated from Reality?

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    Dr.Dawg says:

    Be nice if Iggy weren’t supporting the current Quebec legislation to withhold social services form women in niquab–all 100 or so of the. “A good Canadian balance,” he says.

    Nope. Neither good, nor Canadian, nor balanced.

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      Namesake says:

      Would’ve been better to link to your blog post to sustain that allegation: http://drdawgsblawg.ca/2011/01/kirpans.shtml

      admittedly, there is some ‘splaining to do on this apparent — or maybe just potential — inconsistency.

      But I wonder if you’re overstating, or perhaps just inadvertantly potentially misleading, to say he’s sanctioning the QC govt’s “withholding social services” from women who won’t remove their veils in public.

      First, that QC leg. just covers those services delivered in-person in gov’t facilities, does it not? (So those 100 women potentially affected are still eligible for social assistance, say, arent’t they? Or does that have to be done in person? Are there some social services in QC that can be applied for online or by phone, like EI, and/or delivered in state-funded but privately (or nonprofit) run facilities?)

      And does the leg. specify that they _absolutely_ cannot receive the (and only the exclusively?) funded provincial services in the provincial govt’s services unless they de-veil… or that they don’t HAVE to be, if the civil servants don’t want to serve them unless they can see their faces…. but they can still ask for, and wait for, and ‘shop around’ for staff at that or other facilities and still potentially get served by someone who DOESN’T object to that?

      (I honestly don’t know, but think it’s incumbent on you to look into that and spell it out, having made the allegation.)

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        Dr.Dawg says:


        Google the phrase “?A good Canadian balance” for yourself.

        And why should any citizen have to “shop around” for an agreeable public employee? Shades of the marriage commissioner controversy!

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    new says:




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    Mr. Chamberlain says:

    Saw Mr. Kenny on the evening news (Wednesday night?) responding to questions about the Bloc’s position on the kirpan. Was he ever sweating! It’s been a while since I saw something like that. You could see smoke coming from his ears as he performed who knows what political calculations in his head over what was at stake with in his reply… and in the end, he really didn’t answer the question.

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    why says:

    There is no need for sikh men to have kirpan or male head scarf unless they proof need to have one in today society





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