Le Devoir: Ottawa accueille le kirpan dans ses ambassades

Ottawa — Alors que les péquistes jaugent la part de responsabilité de la charte des valeurs dans leur déconfiture électorale, Ottawa s’élance résolument dans une direction opposée. Le gouvernement fédéral a annoncé lundi que le port du kirpan serait désormais autorisé dans toutes les ambassades et missions canadiennes à l’étranger.

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CBC: Anti-immigration flyers upset Brampton residents

Pamphlet distributed by B.C.-based group contrasts predominantly white past with Sikh immigrants of today

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Montreal Gazette: Muslim groups call on Quebec government to rebuild bridges after divisive charter debate

MONTREAL — Religious groups that felt targeted during the divisive debate over the Parti Québécois’s proposed charter of values have called on premier-elect Philippe Couillard to help mend fences between Quebecers and restore the province’s reputation as a welcoming place for immigrants.

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Toronto Star: Meet Canada’s defender of the faiths

Sikhs are also impressed. “Bennett has taken the time to understand the faith and concerns we have for co-religionists abroad,” said Balpreet Singh Boparai of the World Sikh Organization of Canada. “We brought up issues we are facing in Afghanistan, Pakistan, religious freedom in India and banning of turbans in France. He listened closely. I think he is doing a marvelous job.”

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Vancouver Province: Surrey woman seeks justice for husband wasting away on death row

According to the World Sikh Organization (WSO) of Canada, who’s been helping in the fight for justice, Bhullar’s last trial saw one of three judges acquit him, claiming there was no evidence, including that none of the 133 witnesses even identified him as a suspect. But the other two judges used Bhullar’s forced confession to sentence him to death.

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The Province: Sikhs protest protracted prison terms in India

According to Prem Vinning, president of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, eight local gurdwara members, including himself, went on a hunger strike from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., alongside hundreds who gathered for a rally at the art gallery “to show support and solidarity for his hunger strike.”

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Montreal Gazette: Values charter deals with a problem that doesn’t exist, symposium told

For a practising Sikh, “the turban is central,” said panellist Mukhbir Singh, vice-president for Quebec and Atlantic Canada of the World Sikh Organization of Canada. Asking him to remove his turban is “tantamount to asking a Sikh to do something completely against his belief.”

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Toronto Sun: Quebec charter critic called police over threats

Members of the province's Sikh and Jewish communities agree the debate is becoming increasingly hateful.

Balpreet Singh of the World Sikh Organization said his members told him "there is an increase in the number of people who feel it's OK to heckle or mock people wearing headdresses."

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Toronto Sun: Religious groups unanimously pan Quebec religious-symbol ban

Balpreet Singh of the Ottawa-based World Sikh Organization of Canada said Sikh men are being asked to choose between their religion or their jobs. "What the PQ is focussed on doing is targeting minorities," he said. "The Sikh community in Quebec is very nervous about this." Singh said the bill is unconstitutional but he admitted Quebec could invoke the notwithstanding clause to overturn any court challenge.

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Montreal Gazette: Secularism charter would permit institutions to opt out

Balpreet Singh, a spokesperson for the World Sikh Organization of Canada, said his community has not been consulted either. “With so many other issues facing Quebecers, we’re not sure why picking on minorities is at the top of the PQ’s list,” he said. “With serious problems with respect to employment, with respect to health care and services, we would have thought that the reasonable thing to do would have been to be more welcoming and open. But it seems that the PQ wants to drive people away, which is just confusing,” Singh said.

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