News media understand the kirpan

As disappointed as we were that Quebec’s National Assembly voted unanimously to ban kirpans from government buildings yesterday, we were also impressed with the thoughtful coverage by reporters in a variety of media.

At CTV Montreal, Kai Nagata asked the PQ’s Louise Beaudoin if they would also be banning steak knives from the parliamentary restaurant. Beaudoin, who has been widely quoted pointing out that multiculturalism is a Canadian value not a Quebec one, just smiled noting that “a knife is not a kirpan.” (Our point exactly.)

Kevin Dougherty at the Montreal Gazette reports that, contrary to Beaudoin’s beliefs, the Quebec human rights charter guarantees equality and requires accommodation.

The National Assembly’s surprising vote caught the attention of the rest of the country too. In Saskatchewan the Liberty Train News was struck by Quebec’s contempt for personal freedom

“What is most glaring about the vote by Members of Quebec's National Assembly, is that they have absolutely no respect for personal freedom. Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Religion both fall under the umbrella of personal freedom. Thus the vote by these politicians amounts to saying that everyone in Quebec is supposed to conform to certain preferred ideals, and that anyone who is different is not welcome,” they wrote.

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