Sikhs seeking to overturn National Assembly kirpan ban

Two Sikhs who filed a court challenge to the ban on wearing kirpans in the National Assembly, say they are hoping that negotiations with the new Liberal government will allow them to drop the case.

Haminder Kaur of Dollard-des-Ormeaux and Balpreet Singh of Toronto launched the suit in 2011.

They argue the ban on the ceremonial dagger violates constitutional rights to free speech and religion by banning Sikhs from the National Assembly and discouraging them from seeking higher office.

Le Devoir this morning says the decision to file suit came about because of an incident four years ago when security guards prevented World Sikh Organization of Canada represent from entering the National Assembly to attend a public hearing.

Three weeks after the incident , the National Assembly unanimously adopted a motion supporting the decision.

Government lawyers argue the ban is a security measure and the suit amounts to a challenge of the Assembly's right to free speech and the privilege of controlling access to the legislature.

The case is scheduled to be heard next year.

Photo Credit: World Sikh Organization of Canada

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  1. Mike d posted on 04/16/2014 07:39 AM
    Don't push your luck. Sorry no knives allowed. Period!
  2. ric posted on 04/16/2014 08:00 AM
    I agree. Head gear is one thing, it can't be used as a weapon. A knife, however you want to call it, is a knife and can be used as a weapon. It should be banned.
  3. joeN posted on 04/16/2014 10:04 AM
    Are kirpans allowed when you board an airplane? Don't think so. So religiuos groups need to understand that they too need to compromise. Push it and you risk fanning the flames of racism and discrimination.
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