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“MONTREAL—Calling it a North American first, the Quebec government passed legislation Wednesday forbidding anyone from receiving or giving a public service with their face covered — and even while riding the bus.
The opposition said the law doesn’t go far enough, while members of the province’s Islamic community said it targets Muslim women and violates their fundamental right to express their religion as they see fit.
“This has been a debate that’s been tearing Quebec apart for the past few years,” Premier Philippe Couillard told reporters. “We need to hail this exercise. We need to remind people we are the only jurisdiction in North America to have legislated on this issue.””
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is looking into the implications of Quebec’s Bill 62, which would require Muslim women wearing a niqab or burka and anyone else using public services to uncover their faces.
“I don’t think it’s the government’s business to tell a woman what she should or shouldn’t be wearing,” said Trudeau while campaigning in Alma, Que., with candidate Richard Hébert ahead of Monday’s byelection.
“As a federal government, we are going to take our responsibility seriously and look carefully at what the implications are.”
When asked if that would include taking the bill to court, Trudeau would only repeat that Ottawa is “looking carefully at the implications.””
“Major global conflicts and the need for justice will be the topics up for discussion at the 12th annual World Religions Conference.
The free event is taking place October 25 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Red Deer College Arts Centre.
Organizer Malik Agyemang says those in attendance will hear about global issues and thoughts on how we can all live together in harmony from a number of speakers of different faiths.
“It doesn’t matter whether we all have the same religion, or even for people who do not have any faith. How do we quell this? How do we live together in peace and harmony?” he asks.
Agyemang says the potential for global conflict is real and it must be spoken about.”
“(JTA) — Jewish leaders in Canada are debating a measure meant to prevent intolerance aimed at Muslims and other minorities.
Earlier this month, the head of B’nai Brith Canada outlined his objections to M-103, a parliamentary motion passed earlier this year that “condemns Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.” The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage held hearings on the measure this week.
Critics of the measure say it singles out Muslims for special treatment because it condemns only Islamophobia by name and does not explicitly mention other religious groups. Others have accused the motion of hampering free speech.”
“Across the world, Diwali celebrations are underway and thousands are gathering in Metro Vancouver to be a part of the festival of lights that starts Thursday.
One Hindu temple in Surrey was bustling to get ready for a morning of festivities and preparing for 10,000 people to attend the opening celebration.
The day before Diwali, on Wednesday, volunteers gathered at the Laxmi Narayan Mandir Temple to decorate.
“It’s the happiest moment,” said Santosh Joshi, one of the volunteers.”
“Current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada have filed a $66 million class-action lawsuit against the religion’s leadership claiming that its policies protect members who sexually abuse children.
The suit was filed in Ontario on behalf of alleged victims of sexual abuse across Canada, where more than 100,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses reside.
“It appears the organization has not established policies to prevent sexual abuse from happening and has faulty policies when sexual abuse is reported to it, at the hands of elders or otherwise,” said Bryan McPhadden, the lead attorney on the case.”