Saturday, January 25, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Trudeau's 1970 speech about "troubled period in this province" has echoes of 2014

Anthony Housefather (@AHousefather), the mayor of Côte Saint-Luc, has tweeted a front page story in The Gazette from February 8, 1970, that reports on Prime Minister Trudeau's speech at a B'Nai Brith Canada event. Trudeau told the mostly Jewish audience the following:
"I am aware we are passing through a troubled period in this province, and that being a member of a minority in these circumstances can be cause for apprehension. I know that many members of the Jewish community share this feeling and have doubts about their future in Quebec. If I can speak as a member of one minority to another -- stick with it. With all your energies and abilities play your full part in this society, which you have helped to build and insist on your rights as members of it."
The exact same speech could be given today, which is incredibly depressing.

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Samuel Moskovitch on the front page of The Gazette, Monday, February 8, 1970

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New York State just showed Quebec's narrow-minded politicians how a confident and tolerant society acts

The New York state assembly passed a bill this week to prohibit discrimination of any worker for the “wearing of any attire, clothing or facial hair in accordance with the requirements of his or her religion.”

You can read the text here:

This bill would  clarify  that  the wearing of any attire, clothing, or facial hair in accordance with the requirements  of  his  or  her  religion  is protected under the Human Rights Law. [...] 
Section one  of  the  bill  would  clarify  that  it  is  an  unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to require a person to violate or  forego  the wearing attire, clothing, or facial hair in accordance with the requirements of his  or  her  religion  unless  the  employer demonstrates  that it is unable to reasonably accommodate the person's religious practice without  undue  hardship  on  the  conduct  of  the employer's business. [...] 
This bill is intended to protect the religious rights of all New Yorkers. An example of the need for this bill is a case  in New  York  City where a member of the Sikh religion who worked for the MTA was ordered to remove his turban and wear the  MTA  hat.  When  he objected,  on religious ground, the MTA responded that he may wear the turban if he affixes an MTA badge to the front. This was  unacceptable as  wearing a turban is a solemn religious duty for Sikhs and affixing a badge to it would not be religiously proper. This bill would  ensure that  persons  like  the  gentleman  described above will no longer be discriminated at their places  of  work  because  of  their  religious duties.