Blog of Adam Daifallah -- author, journalist, law student. Lover of politics, writing, golf, curling, fitness, fashion, bacon and maple products -- not necessarily (but probably) in that order. Partisan of the Anglosphere. Contact me via email at

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

On reasonable accomodation

I'm surprised this story isn't getting more attention in the rest of Canada. It's the kind of thing one might expect to see in some small isolated town in Alabama, not in Quebec. But trust me, this story is not a joke:

The town council of Herouxville, a sleepy town dominated by a towering Roman Catholic church, has adopted a declaration of "norms" that it says would-be immigrants should be aware of before they settle in this town.

Among them, it is forbidden to stone women or burn them with acid.

Children cannot carry weapons to school. That includes ceremonial religious daggers like kirpans even though the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Sikhs can carry kirpans in schools.

However, children can swim in a pool with other children - boys and girls alike because they can't be segregated.

And for the record, female police officers in Herouxville, 165 kilometres northwest of Montreal, can arrest male suspects. Also part of the declaration is to allow women to drive, dance and make decisions on their own.

The debate over what exactly constitutes an accomodement raisonnable ("reasonable accomodation") of minority ethnic communities and whether it has gone too far is the single biggest issue in Québec right now. Everyone is talking about it, and it will possibly be the biggest issue in the next Québec election. Mario Dumont's ADQ has been trying to use the issue as a wedge for weeks to try and pick up support in rural Québec ridings.

A Montreal policeman was suspended from his job for writing, singing and posting this song, which basically says "adopt our values or get out of here":

This deate will likely spill over into the rest of the country soon. It is a debate that should be had, but some of its undertones are disturbing.

UPDATE: Looks like the strategy is working for Dumont. A new poll has the ADQ at 24% province-wide, and in first place in the Québec City region.

UPDATE II: I was a bit misplaced when I said I was surprised this story isn't getting more attention -- I see it's on page one of today's National Post.

# posted by Adam Daifallah : 9:31 AM



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