, 10.20.2017 08:04 AM

“The Charter protects all Canadians, every one of us, even when it is uncomfortable.”

Justin Trudeau said that, back in July, when he was asked about his government paying $10 million to Omar Khadr.  It’s a quote: “The Charter protects all Canadians, everyone of us, even when it is uncomfortable.”

And here’s what Justin Trudeau said three months later, when the Quebec Legislature passed a racist law, a “law” that everyone agrees targets Muslim women: “It’s not up to the federal government to challenge this.”  That’s a quote, too.

Stirring words about the Charter back then, mealy-mouth cowardice now.  What’s changed?

Well, time has gone by.  To be sure.  In that time, the planet’s leading Islamophobe, Donald Trump, has made serial attempts to pass similarly anti-Muslim laws.  During that time, however, Justin Trudeau has made clear he disagrees with Trump. “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada,” he tweeted, the first time Trump tried to bar refugees from Muslim countries.

In recent months, too, expressions of hatred targeting Muslims (and Jews, and others) has surged in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.  Right around the time Trudeau was giving everyone a civics lesson about the Constitution, in fact, Statistics Canada revealed that hate crimes against Muslims had exploded by 60 per cent, when compared to previous years.  The problem has gotten worse, not better.

So, Trudeau’s whiplash-inducing reversal on the applicability of the Charter to difficult cases isn’t because of (a) the passage of time, or (b) because things have gotten any easier for Muslims.  No, it has to be something else.

All it can be, of course, is this: seats.  Quebec has 78, and Justin Trudeau won 40 of them in 2015.  He thinks that, if his government challenges the National Assembly’s indisputably racist law, he’ll lose some or all of those seats.  That’s the only reason he isn’t matching his previously-inspiring words with action.

Talk minus action equals zero, one of my Canadian punk rock friends like to say, and that is what Justin Trudeau and his government presently amount to: zero.

Either you believe in the Constitution, or you don’t.  Either you believe people have an inalienable right to peacefully express their deepest religious views, or you don’t.  Either you are against hatred, or you aren’t.

You know what makes me want to puke about all this?  It’s that, in the months he has been in power, not even a racist like Donald Trump has dared to pass a law telling women what they can wear.  Not even him.

I am so disgusted by the federal Liberal Party – by its gutlessness, by its venality, by its dishonesty – that words (almost) fail me.

Oh, and for you Liberals who are moved to write in, and defend what Justin Trudeau has done because of politics: don’t bother.  Because, when a veil-wearing Muslim Mom with two little kids is kicked off a Quebec City bus in January, when it is forty below, your fucking bullshit about “politics” isn’t going to keep her and her kids very warm, is it?  No, it isn’t.

Somewhere, this morning, Donald Trump is reading his clippings, and nodding.

“Attaboy, Justin,” he’s saying.  “Attaboy.”


  1. F Diez says:

    Why is there a picture of a Christian nun when your piece has nothing to do with Christianity?

    • Warren says:

      Because she’s a lawbreaker, too. She’s wearing a veil that partially covers her face. Throw her in jail, Quebec.

      • Elijah says:

        Eh…I get what you’re going for, but the nun’s face is clearly visible and this isn’t what the Quebec law is focused on. The (discriminatory) intent behind the law is to punish burqas and niqabs, which either completely or mostly hide the face. Your example is more inline with a hijab, which would be ok.

      • Simon says:

        You’re exactly right WK, and unintentionally, I think, parroting the line used to defend the ban by posting that picture:

        Quebec went through the Quiet Revolution and through great effort divested themselves of Catholic religious rule (which your photo invokes). So, the burka ban is totally not racist, but simply the continuation of this trajectory. After all, who wants to go back to a society of shrouded nuns?

        Question though: do you think Islam and Christianity are morally equivalent in their treatment of women, including through the long sweep of their history. (Your posting of that photo would seem to indicate you do hold to this belief. After all, why then would you post it if this wasn’t the case?)

  2. Matt says:

    100% agree Warren.

    If it was Alberta who passed this law Trudeau would have begun the federal challange within hours and spent billions to fight it.

    But since it’s Quebec, the chicken shit won’t do a thing hiding behind the “Well, Quebec has the right to pass it’s own laws….” crap.

    • Kev says:

      Nope, because the Charter is a tool for citizens to enforce their rights against the government, not for the government.

      Read it some time.

  3. BlueGritr says:

    Smart politics on Justin’s part. Why he’s going to be around for a long, long time. (Morneau, not so much.)

    • billg says:

      Ya, cant see the Dippers or the Cons pressing the Liberals or Mr Trudeau for a definitive response to this, not like millions were spent on anyone else who had their charter rights violated.

  4. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    The law is pretty unacceptable, but hasn’t Québec already used the Notwithstanding Clause to avoid having to follow the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

    There isn’t a hell of a lot the federal government can do in this case. There are reasons to be upset with the federal liberals, but not doing something they cannot do is not one of them.

  5. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Sorry for the double post, but there are provincial elections in a few weeks. Just saying, kick out the people that voted for this, reverse the Bill, the end.

  6. DN says:

    “… indisputably racist law…” – Muslim isn’t a race.

    “…not even a racist like Donald Trump has dared to pass a law telling women what they can wear. Not even him.” – What about the Muslim men who force the women to wear that attire in the first place? Do they make you want to puke?

    “I am so disgusted by the federal Liberal Party…” – Us too, but probably for largely different reasons; except the dishonesty – we are with you there.

    • Eric Weiss says:

      Right, because that’s the only reason Muslim women wear the veil. Because they’re incapable of making the choice for themselves and their brute spouses force them to do it. Gee it’s a good thing you’re not racist.

      • Nasty Bob says:

        1-No doubt in some parts of the world woman are forced to wear such atire but it’s not the husband so much as the state that does the forcing ( and the enforcing with religious police and the punishing) but I guess it’s okay if the state forces someone not to wear something and punishes them through denial of services – maybe there’s a job for you in the (likely to be established )Quebec anti-religious police DN?

        2. Let’s assume that -in Canada- some men force there wives to dress like that …. which is to say they are “forced” in the same manner that many WASP wives are “forced”to engage in anal sex . Which is to say maybe they don’t particularly enjoy it but they consent to it because they know it gives a partner pleasure ,it helps signify their devotion and is part of the give and take of granting /giving pleasure and devotion and all the other trade offs in every marriage . In the west we have a long cultural and legal history of the state encouraging and protecting the sanctity of marriage and not interfering with the arrangements made between the two consenting adults be it in the bedroom , the finances, household labour or wardrobe in and out of the home . ( Unless of course there is actual assault .abuse or fraud ) . It may not be obvious at first but indeed this law runs counter to secular western values when the state fetters how a couple actualizes a marriage .

        3- I suspect a majority of woman who dress that way , if polled , would say it is their choice and is in fact liberating because it frees them from the mostly western , mostly male expectations of beauty . They do not have to stress about every calorie , fret about which lipstick is in vogue or spend a fortune every time a hem line goes up or down .
        I also suspect, DN , it’s this flagrant rejection of western male dominated ideals of beauty that really make you want to puke.

        • DN says:

          Hi Nasty Bob,
          Can you point out any other non-Muslim society in the world in which women freely veil their faces? Why is it that only that group does it? Why do no other women think it’s a great idea to wear a veil?

          Also can you explain why even Muslin societies didn’t start having their women wear veils until sometime in the 80’s?

          If a WASP wife is forced into anal sex against her will, it’s rape. We have laws against that. Also, I do things for my wife that I don’t particularly enjoy for the same reason. So what? That is between her and I, but I don’t dictate the kind of person she has to be or the kinds of things she’s allowed to do. She’s not my property. She’s not a slave. And we aren’t talking about what happens in the bedroom – we are talking about a woman’s free time in society.

          Idea: go out on a body length black veil and walk around the desert in Arizona, and tell me you’d choose to do that. Ever. Heck.. why not do it in down town Toronto, and discover its merits? Seriously; why don’t Muslim men wear it to show the same devotion? Because it’s about control, and nothing else.

          And of course they would say they chose it, because that’s exactly what they were told to say. By the state and their husbands. Funny enough, their holy book doesn’t have such a requirement. When it comes to male dominated societies, Islam wins hands down.

          Seriously; do a little research on the rights of women in Islam. Try and understand why they are segregated in Mosques (sp?). Research how the testimony of a woman compares to that of a man in their court.

          No, Nasty Bob, it’s my children’s future I worry about. I don’t want my daughter to ever be forced to wear a veil, and I expect my son to respect women. And if either of them are gay, I’d appreciate them not being thrown off of buildings.

          The veil is a symptom, not a symbol.

          “Nasty Bob”.. is that supposed to be intimidating? It certainly doesn’t ooze intelligence.

      • doconnor says:

        If someone from Victorian society came to present day Canada they might assume that the women wearing translucent shirts and short shorts had been forced to wear them.

      • DN says:

        What other reasons do they wear the veil?

      • DN says:

        Again, “Muslim” isn’t a race. Being against the oppression of woman by no means makes me a racist.

        • Nasty Bob says:

          Of course when we went to legion/community halls to find gig space I always introduced myself to the proprietor as Not-a-bad-guy-when-you-get-to-know-him Bob

          Anyway DN-
          You missed my point completely. – In the west the degree a wife honours and obeys her husband , if at all, has always been a decision with in the marriage (criminal behaviour excepted) as opposed to, say, places where sharia law is present. There the state imposes and enforces those obligations.

          The evil of sharia is not the dress code but the state imposition of it. Now Quebec ( the state ) is imposing a dress code that infringes upon the choices available with in a marriage. One may force a woman to wear something while the other forces her not to wear but it’s the same evil.

          Quebec has tried to shut the door on sharia but it’s snuck in under the floorboards. Then again the Devil always makes the most progress when he disguise himself as his opposite.

          I suspect your research is derived largely from the counter-jihad nutjobs who stoke paranoid conspiracies about sharia monsters hiding under all our beds just waiting for the right moment to jump out and steal all the ham sandwiches.

          Let me plays devils advocate and give Christians the same treatment ….

          When it comes to male dominated societies Christianity wins hands down !
          Have you read Ephesians 5:22 ??? Wives MUST submit to husbands in everything !!! You know the Bible says nothing about abortions but Christians claim life begins at conception so woman aren’t even sovereign over their own bodies. Oh and what about 1 Peter 3 ??? Men are allowed to beat there wives as if they were slaves ! Men dictate how woman dress – no braided hair, no jewellery, no fashionable dress ( also 1 Peter) . And I’m just getting started here – let em hang a few crosses and the next thing you know we’ll only be allowed to eat thin tasteless wafers on Sunday !!!!!

          Now the truth is Christian men are not given license to beat their wives. A proper reading ( well a proper Coles books reading anyway) is that woman should allow men to beat them because it makes them Christ like ( who was also WRONGLY flogged )

          And the reason woman have to hide their beauty is not because of jealous insecure husbands but rather to put emphasis on the inner beauty of the soul (which in turn remind husbands of the presence of God should they stop believing).

          That Christian idea goes back way before Christ to Sarah ( Abrahams wife ) and, not surprisingly, since Islam shares roots to Abraham it’s a part of their faith too.

          But woe be any woman in Quebec who wishes to worship God by sublimating her physical beauty to better exhibit a soul !

  7. Gyor says:

    Dang it, I can’t stand Trudeau, but you’ve put me in a position where I have to defend him.

    Trudeau can’t legally legislate what the Quebec National Assembly can do, its not constitutional.

    They could fund legal challenges, but see the Federal government pulling that they are more likely to dig in and push back hard, maybe even using the not with standing clause.

    If its just regular Quebec Muslims, they won’t get the push back and I doubt the Not Withstsnding Clause will be used.

  8. sean cummings says:

    Elizabeth May will likely be the only federal leader who calls Quebec on this hypocritical, racist law.

    I can’t believe this is actually happening in Canada.

  9. SM says:

    I don’t see this as a religious issue. This is an anti-women issue. How can you walk out on a meeting because conservatives wanted an anti-abortionist as chair of the group, and stand by for this crap.

  10. Gord says:

    Wait, you mean oh-so-progressive, oh-so-cosmopolitan Quebec, you know, the place leftist Canadians worship as the workers’ paradise, is full of racist, nationalist xenophobes? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you. I mean it’s not like it’s been there to see for the last, oh, seventy-five years or so.

  11. Sean says:

    Bang on Warren. I think part of it is related to the fact that his biggest potential rival in Quebec *looks like a foreigner*. Its a way to corner votes / herd cats as they say.

  12. Charlie says:

    Doesn’t make sense to me that Quebec would go out of their way to make a regulation that targets so, so few of their residents.

    Proponents can say what they want anecdotally of this law, I just don’t see a scintilla of statistical evidence that points to this being a serious problem plaguing public life in Quebec. Come to the prairies in the winter and show me one person getting on the bus with their face not completely wrapped in wool.

    Ultimately, its going to take one lawyer to challenge this in court, and the Quebec government is going to be wasting time in a Charter rights fight while trying to explain how this is going to be realistically enforced.

    And once again, Quebec has allowed its politician to plunge the province into another needless divisive controversy with political calculations in the balance. At what point do Quebecers get sick of this shit being a predominant feature of their identity?

  13. Derek Pearce says:

    Deeply disappointed in the PM to say the least. I will however be curious to see how the NDP handles this.

  14. Miles Lunn says:

    I would add the Liberals based on history and polling probably expect to lose some seats in English Canada next time around. It’s unlikely they will sweep Atlantic Canada again, and may win a majority in Ontario, but probably somewhat reduced as well as could lose some in the West. So since a loss of 15 seats means losing their majority, they have to make it up elsewhere in Quebec is the only place the party actually has a good shot at gaining seats. So he probably figures doing this will make gaining seats harder as in Montreal which is already largely Liberal to begin with they may applaud him, but in the regions where the party needs to gain this would hurt them.

    Still a real leader does what is right even if it hurts them. Mulcair’s decision to oppose Harper’s niqab ban at citizenship ceremonies cost him big time in Quebec and his drop in votes there meant progressives elsewhere flocked to the Liberals as they were seen as the better to defeat Harper after this, but he still did it because it was the right thing even if it maybe cost him the chance of being prime-minister or at least opposition leader. It’s better to be right and lose than wrong and win.

  15. Kevin says:

    The cartoonists are going to be savage. My predictions:

    -Justin Trudeau on a motorcycle, wearing a Prussian helmet

    -Saudi soldiers in a Canadian armoured vehicle, firing at a group of veiled women, Trudeau to the side: saying “It’s not up to me to challenge…”

    -Trudeau portrait in PM Gallery, brass plaque attached reads “Quisling”

    -Bearded Couillard facing veiled woman, caption “I should see your face, and you should see mine”

    -Bearded Imam ordering woman to be veiled, bearded Coullard ordering the opposite

  16. Warren says:

    So when my Mom had a veil on her wedding day, as she did, she was ridiculous?

    • Warren says:

      Bigotry is not welcome here. Careful, Scott.

    • Kev says:

      If you want to wear a pair of Spider-Man underoos on your head every day of your life, it’s no business of the provincial, or federal, or any other government.

      It’s no different for any other garment for any other reason.

  17. doconnor says:

    Why are you talking about bras?

  18. P. Brenn says:

    I think we should ban gloves and use finger prints for ID

  19. Steve T says:

    I really don’t get how this law is “racist”. There is a legitimate public-safety reason for requiring faces to be visible. The law does not state that only Muslims are prohibited from covering their face.

    And, quite frankly, we all know the background of why orthodox Islam requires women to cover their faces. It’s not exactly a progressive egalitarian reason.

    If this law is “racist” against Muslims, then isn’t it racist to prohibit bigamy? I mean, some religions find it very important for men to have multiple wives. Are we simply to be “tolerant” of those anti-female practices, too?

  20. BlueGritr says:

    Every federal Liberal voter I know (in the GTA) is emphatic that in order to receive a government service, you must verify — in document form — that you are whom you claim to be. Justin is not going to lose votes with these Liberals. His vote will remain strong.

  21. A. Voter says:

    In her book “The Trouble with Islam Today” Muslim feminist Irshad Manji said that there is nothing in the Koran that dictates women must keep their faces covered.
    I read last week that head-scarves for Muslim women only began in Iran in 1979 when the ayatollahs imposed them.
    The burqa is part of Bedouin culture that pre-dates Islam.
    There are feminist Muslims who support the dress code bans because it frees women from being forced to cover up by men.

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