Quebec MP Wants To Ban The Burka At Voting Booths

No More Burkas To Be Allowed At Quebec Voting Booths?

In a move by Conservative MP Steven Blaney this morning, a private member’s bill was brought before Parliament that would require all voters to show their faces in order to cast ballots at the polls for Federal elections.

MP Blaney stated that the bill is an effort to “strengthen public confidence in our democratic system.”

The current system does not require female Muslim voters to reveal their faces. They can either show photo ID to an official, remove the burka in private in front of a female official or swear an oath of truthfulness regarding their identity.

The bill, C-623, contains amendments to Canada’s Election’s Act that would require all voters to show their faces in order to be issued a ballot at polling places. The only exception to this rule would be for health reasons.

The Bill, C-623, does not affect special ballots cast prior to election day. These ballots are either mailed in or cast at one of the returning offices.

More than 250,000 Canadians currently vote by special ballot and the option is available to any person preferring that method of voting.

This move follows a recent motion passed banning Sikhs bringing ceremonial daggers into the legislative building.

Quebec MP Wants To Ban Burka's At Voting Booths

Quebec MP Wants To Ban Burka's At Voting Booths

128 Comments

  1. nicole says:

    It is about time that we CANADIANS stand in our country and the immigrants conform with the law of this country, why they come here to continue to live the way they try to escape. WE HAVE ONE GOD
    nic

    • Lacey says:

      The funny thing about that is that all the CANADIANS you want to ‘stand strong’ are actually immigrants themselves! and most immigrants fleeing their countries are doing so because of war, poverty, or persecution, not because they want to leave their beliefs. Maybe you should pick up a book and stop being so ignorant before you try and play off your racist opinions as fact.

      • the purple helemt says:

        how can the comments on here be racists? we have laws in the country, if these new immigrants don’t like them they can go back to where they came from. You didn’t see the hard Working
        Europeans pull this at the turn of the century, most of the middle eastern are a vacuum of our social services what Canada can not afford!

        • CARL says:

          I am from an asian background. I do not wear a long braid in the back of my head. WHEN IN ROME DO WHAT THE ROMANS DO!!!!!!!!!! DID YOU KNOW THAT THE MAJORITY OF MUSILMS ARE ILLITERATE!!!!! THESE COCKROACHES LIVE OFF OF WELFARE AND BELIEVE WHAT MINE IS MINE AND YOURS IS MINE. MUSLIMS SHOULD BE ALL DEPORTED FROM CANADA!!!!! THEY HAVE NO RESPECT FOR ANYONE!!!!!!!!! I WOULD GLADLY HELP THE GOVERNMENT IF THEY DECIDED TO REMOVE THESE LOWLIFE SCUMBAGS!!!!!!!!I WOULD NOT ASK FOR MONEY!!!!!!!!!!

          • Erin says:

            You, sir, are the worst kind of racist out there. And a very, very poor writer too.

          • weltschmerz says:

            and thats the sort of reasoning necessary to bring about the same sort of the worst events in history. thankyou for being a part of the problem.

          • Rai says:

            Actually ignorant people like YOU should be removed from Canada. You come in here as an immigrant and you want to control other immigrants. I think You need to leave. Everyone here works hard and pays their taxes and this country would be much better off without people like you.

          • Kay Ess says:

            I pity you!

          • Romana says:

            Carl, I thought there was a limit to how ignorant and bigoted one can be…apparently, I was dead wrong.
            How do you tolerate yourself with such thoughts and have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror?

        • JD says:

          I agree that a person ir persons who wanting to and does immigrate to Canada, that they are in Canada to be a Canadian nothing else. We are noted for our fairness and stability and kindness.
          We have a grand and wonderful country to be in and let us do all we can to preserve Canada.I fortunetly was born here.

        • verrz says:

          Yeah, if you immigrants don’t like the customs and laws of the land, get your butts back to where you came from. That would likely put you and yours back in England bub, before one of history’s greatest land grabs began. Your two level beachfront dream home is built on filtched native land, you ignoramous.

      • samy says:

        Very well said !

      • 888 says:

        No one forbids anyone’s religious beliefs in Canada, and it is not racism. It is called LAW. Since “burka wearers” chose to emigrate to Canada obviously they must follow Canadian laws, which require ALL people to NOT HIDE their faces for identification purposes, simple as that.
        If they want this LAW changed they can always try to change Candian Laws, no one forbids them from doing it either, but until it is the LAW they must comply same as anyone else, therefore your “racism calling” (or perception of racism in general) is obviously skewed, twisted and has nothing to do with actual racism. Perhaps you should educate yourself before opening your mouth or touching keyboard next time.
        And, as always, if the “burka wearers” didn’t like Canadian Laws and the way Canadian society works, they are free to emigarte to any other country or they can always go back to where they came from.

        • Kay Ess says:

          888. The law has just been passed and that too in Quebec only. All your ‘chest thumping’ is in vain because the burka-clad ladies can still send in their ballots through mail.

      • Roy Green says:

        Thanks, ‘Lacey’ – you said it all.

      • chris says:

        yes immigrants that adopet the culture of this country and recpect it , leave your religious belives at home and get out and be a Canadian.Its funny how we have to adoppet the rules of other countrys when we decide to live abrod but when we come here to Canada we want to change it to suit individual culters and religion it just cant be done you live here ,you work here ,but just cant let your home countrys traditions go, come on people get with it you dont like our regulatory policies than decision is simple (shape up or ship out) and this racist word that has become like a weapon in the hands of people ,Got no common sense ,everything and anything we cant figure out or we have to blame or critize ends with racism ,just live your lives and be happy you have a roof over your head.Immigrants that come here becouse of the reasons you describe couldnt change their own countrys policies but want to change it here in their new land that they dont even understand.

        • Kay Ess says:

          Chris, I suggest you type your comments and run a spell check before posting. It is unbelievable that an email could have so many spelling and grammatical mistakes.

          • chris says:

            Dear KayAss

            Didnt think this was a spelling contest ,but if it makes you happy ,i ran spellcheck on this one and it all seemed well . get a life or a full time job ,if you can keep one.

      • DB says:

        Don’t you think some of the reasons their home countries are in that condition is because of their beliefs?

      • carl says:

        When in Rome do what THE ROMANS DO!!!!!!!!!! or STAY OUT!!!!!!!!ISLAM AND THEIR INTOLERANT BELIEFS SHOULD BE OUT LAWED AND ANYONE WHO BRINGS THIS SORT OF GARBAGE SHOULD BE KILLED ON SITE BY ANY CANADIAN CITIZEN WITH IMPUNIY. FACE COVERINGS HAS BEEN USED BY CRIMINALS THAT COMMITTED CRIMES IN THEIR OWN STINKING COUNTRIES. IF I WERE A BANK GUARD THEY WOULD TAKE ONE OR MORE OR MY BULLETS. lEAVE YOUR STINKING GARBAGE OUT OR CANADA!!!!!!!!!

        • weltschmerz says:

          and thats the sort of reasoning necessary to bring about the same sort of the worst events in history. thankyou for being a part of the problem

        • Kay Ess says:

          Spoken like a true bigot! The venom you spout must have a history behind it. I suggest you leave that behind in your country, which ever that is. BTW your favourite line ‘when in Rome do what the Romans do’ should apply equally too. We Canadians are not as ill mannered or uncouth as you.

      • JP says:

        When in Rome, do like the Romans

      • Darrel says:

        Gee muslim is a race now?

      • Jason says:

        Lacey,

        Who are you to call Nicole or anybody else ignorant? She said nothing wrong and didn’t do anything but voice her opinion, which since I last checked is still legal in this country.

        You are what’s wrong with Canada. It’s because of people like YOU that Canadians are perceived as weak and goofy on the global stage. If you want to bend over backwards while a new comer tells you how they want to behave in your country, good for you, but the rest of us don’t have to. Again, my opinion.

        If Canada was a muslim state then it would be unfair to ask anybody to remove their burkas, but it’s not! We have our own culture and our own laws which anybody has to conform to if they wish to participate in our society.

        If you were to walk down the streets in Pakistan in a bikini, it would not be permitted, because that is their law. Why is it that when another country attempts to protect their culture and enforce their laws, it is deemed acceptable, but when Canadians attempt to do the same these lefties cry foul?

        I think it is truly a special experience that my son gets to go to school with children of all different backgrounds. That does not mean that I am comfortable with the possibility of one of his classmates carrying a dagger because of religious belief. If I were to start a religion where the people who practiced carried guns, should that be allowed?

        I am for the protection of North American Values. We as Canadians have the option to take interest in the culture of new immigrants, but the new immigrants but make an effort to integrate themselves into Canadian society. That includes adhering to OUR culture and Regulations.

      • JONES says:

        It is beacuse of peoples’ believes that there is war, poverty and persecution.
        It is not racist to demand that culture which is harmful to people be called what it is, dangerous. Yes I am certainly a culturalist!

      • Mike says:

        I understand your point but belief that we have gone to far..we must be able to identify people and the burka is not a religous belief but a tradition….check it out….the koran does not speak of burkas….

      • Romana says:

        KUDOS!!! For clarifying…tired of people making ignorant comments about Muslim women…wish people would read and research before making statements in public forums.
        And YES, by the way, every one is an immigrant here …so stop making it sound as if one group owns the country and rest are living on their charity.

    • Brit says:

      WOW…so Ignorant…why are most of you assuming these people are ALL immigrants??? I know MANY Muslims who were born here and their parents were born here AND I know many people from all races who have converted to Islam. Despite their religion they are Canadian and many of them say whenever they go back to Turkey or Iraq they don’t fit in with that culture because they are so Canadianized. I can understand that every Canadian needs to prove their identity for polling..but what was wrong with the old way?? It says in the article these woman could show their faces in private, show ID, ect. Why is this being prompted now? Did something happen at the polling booths?? Did a woman go unidentifyed and try to vote twice or something?? To me, this just sounds like hate speech towards Islam on behalf of Quebec politicians.

      MUSLIMS ARE NOT OUR ENEMY!

      • Marc says:

        I agree that they are not the enemy-that’s obvious. But showing ID and not showing a face that matches doesn’t resolve anything. If they had a cancer in the face, they would have to show their faces to their doctors. So the privilege of voting requires the same. Show your face. The issue of a man seeing their face can be simply resolved by having women at the polling stations.

      • Phil says:

        Of course they aren’t our enemy. But when you go to someone else’s house (or country), and want to fit in, then you do what they do. Simple as that.

      • chris says:

        So far we have no enemies,and its not about religion or islam ,its about recpect and policies ,please dont be blinded we never had these issues before in this country and we dont want these problems here.Policymakers work for every canadian in this country and they try their best no one is perfect ,lets understand that.if your friends cant fit in when they go back , maybe thats a sing that they are not welcome back and should just bite the bullet and get along here.

        • Gary says:

          What a poor state we are in. We let in anyone that cries because their country is not where they want to be. Then we give them homes, money and freedom and they refuse to follow our laws. You come to our country, then show your face or is it that your true face needs to be covered because of your own fears. Immigration means also to integrate and adapt to our country not come here and expect that we are to adapt to your ways. In many of these countries women are treated as slaves rather then free humans where many men control their women because of there own insecurities and fears. So, get with it and be free but adapt to our country, remember this, you left to find freedom so be proud that you can truly be free and show your face.

      • hakama says:

        You are a blind ignorant FOOL!!!!!!!!!!

      • Kay Ess says:

        Brit, it is not just Quebec politicians but also a lot of ordinary people who would like to vent anger at an imaginary enemy. Suggest you read the controversial measures concerning practices which the residents deemed unsuitable for life in Herouxville for potential new immigrants, despite the fact that the town has no immigrant population.

    • ferret says:

      You are an ignoramus. Nothing you said has anything to do with this article.

    • carl says:

      Right on!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Leave your sh*t out of Canada. But I go lighten up on the god part.

    • Hchatrath says:

      Dear Nicole,
      Are you a native Canadian. If not, why you think that the belief your ancester brought to Canada is better than the belief an other immigrant brings now.

    • Erin says:

      We, in fact, do not have one God. Canada is a secular nation which protects the rights of citizens who worship a variety of different types of gods, as well as those who do not believe in god or adhere to a religion. Check out the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Canada was founded by immigrants; we are ALL immigrants in a sense. Stop spouting xenophobic nonsense and learn to be gracious and KIND to all Canadians.

    • BV says:

      @Nicole – According to the principle of universality, the basis of all moral codes, if I apply your theorem the natives of this country should be the soul authority and if you don’t like it you can leave their country. By the way, they have many gods.

    • Schettini says:

      One God: white, male, straight … and dead, right?

  2. ben says:

    its a little silly when Osama ben Laden can wear a burka and vote in Cananda… Sheesh… from what i heard a woman can wear a burka when she takes her passport photo…

    • zappa123 says:

      If someone can wear a burka when having a passport photo taken THAT is ridiculous. I wonder if this is true…………..I am not even allowed to wear certain types of make up that cause “shine” in a photo

    • ferret says:

      and I heard Stephen Harper doesn’t even have a picture of his butt on his passport photo.

  3. ray says:

    Indeed it’s about time that we stand up for our culture and our heritage and rights. Imigrants do come to Canada and want to maintiain some of their cutlture and heritage but they also have to undetstand that in some cases we do things differently and they must accept these changes or consider returning where they came from.

    • Rai says:

      If what your saying is true, then we should all take up the Native’s Heritage considering that this is their country, and everyone else immigrated here. But instead we forced them onto reserves with horrible conditions and exploited their country, I’m sure they think we should all go back to where we came from to.

  4. zappa123 says:

    Unell you are an aboriginal person you are not truly Canadian. All of our ancestors are “immigrants.” I am in agreement with the idea that all Canadians should be required to follow the law, regardless of Religion. If no weapons are allowed in certain places that should include ceremonial swords etc. and if all Canadians must show their faces to vote then that should mean all Canadins regardless of religion. Your comment however is so close minded it is an embarassment to thinking people. ONE GOD? Says who? You? Think prior to posting comments

    • Lacey says:

      agreed!

    • jack says:

      I didn’t think most of the aboriginals felt they were Canadian. After all, they consider themselves “First Nations”, so what exactly are they, First Nations or Canadians? They only seem to be Canadian when it’s time to reap the perks of Canada. Didn’t they also immigrant to this land at one time? So how does that make them any better than someone who had ancestors immigrate or come here many generations ago? I was born in this Country and I have paid taxes my whole life to this Country. That doesn’t mean I am Canadian?

      You write, “Think prior to posting comments”. Perhaps you should read your own racist comments, Canada is not in need of any more racism.

  5. zappa123 says:

    Unless you are an aboriginal person you are not truly Canadian. All of our ancestors are “immigrants.” I am in agreement with the idea that all Canadians should be required to follow the law, regardless of Religion. If no weapons are allowed in certain places that should include ceremonial swords etc. and if all Canadians must show their faces to vote then that should mean all Canadins regardless of religion. Your comment however is so close minded it is an embarassment to thinking people. ONE GOD? Says who? You? Think prior to posting comments

    • F. Hardy says:

      Which of my ancestors were immigrants then? They were either born in Canada, never once in Canada, or part of the founding population of Canada. You don’t have to be aboriginal for that to be the case.

      Unless you’re defining immigration as biologists do, in which case there’s no distinction to be made, since everyone has ancestors who have immigrated in the biological sense.

    • moosemilk says:

      there is no such thing as aboriginals everyone came from somewhere else they walked here boated here or flew here, and aboriginals dont want to be canadian they just want.

  6. Ryan says:

    It is about we grew up and stopped allowing people to come to this country and force THEIR beliefs on us. Now we just need to spread this grown up attitude to the rest of the country. (And don’t take that as being anti-immigrant. I’m happy to have people from all over the world. I love living in a mixing pot country 🙂

    • Marc says:

      Personally I don’t feel that they are imposing their ways on me, rather I see it as our democracy allows them to live their lives as their religions and beliefs state. I think the issue is that there is a step missing in the immigration process… informaing the potential immigrants of the laws and rules. I know what to expect if I go to a muslim country, they should know about our country that way they can be informed better.

      • hakama says:

        Don’t be fooled by a muslim. We as true Canadians are too naive and blind. They have a what mine is mine and yours is mine policly. They are total scum.

    • ferret says:

      I wish these immigrants would stop IMPOSING OUR OWN BELIEFS on us already.
      Freedom of religion and expression. Who ever imagined that that included freedom for OTHER religions?

  7. Jack says:

    Canadian laws and customs are forever changing; however, this religious kind of extremism must be nipped in the bud. I’m all for a return to religious morality, since our system is in social decay; but let’s not let the pendulum swing too far towards the religious fanatics. Lose the burkas and the daggers.

    • Michelle Cowsill says:

      Wow. You just called sikhs religious fanatics… wow.
      Hey, Quebec, lose the French. It’ll raise public confidence if the majority sees everything in their own language (English!). Or go back to France where you came from.
      While we’re at it, lose the separatist party, it’s sedition. Public confidence in our national identity and security will rise if we don’t have the Bloc QC here. Or go back where you came from.
      Let’s see, what else should be censored, since we’re in the mood to exclude minority rights…

      • Hakama says:

        I live in Quebec all my life and I personally HATE THE FRENCH WITH A PASSION!!!!!!!!!!So much I like to personally execute them all. I personally endured all of there BULLSH*T and it is because of them I cannot succeed here because I do not speak the conquered language. I like to BUTCHER ALL THE FRENCH IN CANADA for all the trouble they have caused. GET A FU*CKIN LIFE. SO GOES FOR THE MUSLIMS WHO ARE PROMINATELY FRENCH SPEAKING SCUM !!!!!!!

  8. Lawrence says:

    Our lovely country has a much bigger problem with voters attendance rate than it does with woman in burkas trying to squeeze in an illegal vote. Never in my life (i am 28) have I felt that there was “serious” funny business at the voting booth. On the other hand, never have I had the opportunity to vote for a legitimate leader.
    I agree that Canada has a very laissez-faire attitude when it comes to the topic of newly landed immigrants and their beliefs, but I think this is a push in the wrong direction. All this does is expose the fact that many of us are closet racist who hide behind this image of an open-minded nation.

  9. Francois says:

    Even the aboriginals are invaders, they pushed the original people to the north and they became our Inuit and Eskimos. Enough of this immigrant stuff, time to move on and adapt to the realities of history. The current prevailing culture in North America is Anglo-Saxon so accept it or leave. And BTW I was born in Quebec and my first language is French

    • ferret says:

      François,
      I believe you have it backwards. The Inuit and Eskimos came just before the Europeans around 1000AD and long after the other natives.

      The prevailing culture in 1930s Germany involved deporting gays, Gypsies and Jews to “work camps”. I guess as long as the majority agree it’s just fine.

      Bon courage

    • Rai says:

      If that’s an attempt at trying to draw attention away from the fact that the Aboriginals were the first people here then maybe you need to try again. Doesn’t matter how you want to say it – fact is that they’re the originals and everyone else immigrated here after the.

  10. Lloyd says:

    We support Bill C-623 completely and would like to see other immigration limitations such as the ability to speak the official language of their choice prior to arrival in Canada.

    • Bob says:

      Right on.

      Bill C-623 = conservative majority !

      About time we started standing up for ouselves. (after the Germans, British and French).

      Any immigrant hypocrit can go back to the backward country where they came from (and please take our “tolerance” hippies with you).

  11. john brooks says:

    People please take a deep breath and calm down. First off, we are all immigrants in Canada, yes even the aboriginals are immigrants.

    The discovery of Kenewick Man in Washington State confirms that they were here 4000 years before our aboriginals. For more info see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennewick_Man

    Now that we have established that we all are immigrants, lets debate the actual issue. Should today’s immigrants be subjected to our laws and customs?

    I believe that when you immigrate to another country, you should have to adbide by the host countries customs and laws.

    Our customs and laws are there for a reason, to guide and to protect us all. The law regarding voting rights is clear, if you wish to vote, we must be able to ascertain that your are who you say you are, if you can not prove this you cannot vote.

    Being able to compare a persons face to the picture on a passport or other forms of ID is imperitive to ensuring you are who you state to be.

    Very simple and very basic to our laws of voting.

    • Michelle Cowsill says:

      But we have rights and freedoms which supercede the priority of public identification. Right to expression and freedom of religion must be preserved or Canada is failing it’s most treasured values. There are many ways of ensuring identification without forcing the women in question to remove their burqas in public for all to see. We can respect their privacy, particularly their desired privacy from public exposure to men in this case, while still concretely determining their identification while voting very easily. I believe bills that target fundamental cultural practices are actually promoting exclusion, and attempting to exclude a subset of the population (ie. a minority) from voting in person is a complete contradiction to our rights and freedoms here in Canada. The Quebec population in particular should be very sensitive to the issue of cultural rights and exclusionary measures. I’m surprised that they are attempting to quash expression of culture in all gov. areas lately, such as the Kirpan and now the burqa. Shameful.

      • Alain says:

        Contrary to the rest of Canada, Quebec as a non religion base type government, so we decided to include EVERYONE in the process, and removed religion from the public governance, so why would we get it religion back in the picture to make it an exclusion thing again. Makes no sens to exclude people based on religion, by making it the center of governance, religion is a private matter, not a public matter, I think this what English Canadians have a difficult time understanding, Religion has no place in the schools, hospitals, public service, government and other public debate, period, Quebec does not tell anyone that they cannot practice their religion at home or place of worship, but they have to leave there and not bring it to work or school, simple.

        • Rai says:

          For now it is that way. However, I’m sure by allowing laws like this to pass, sooner or later it will eventually lead to the complete control of religion.

    • ferret says:

      Right. I agree that immigrants should abide by our laws. I even have so radical an idea as to believe that native born Canadians should abide by our laws.
      …like the Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988. Like it or not it is the law of the land.

    • Kay Ess says:

      Very well said John. But do you think it is fair to pass laws that specifically aims at the muslim culture. C-623 has just been passed and that too in Quebec. So which law were the burka clad women violating when they went to the polls? Till this time they were asked to show their face to a women official and that was enough. So where does the ‘respect for our laws’ come in?

  12. B Forge says:

    If they live in Canada they are free to follow their
    religion,but they shold be Canadians first and muslim
    second but they are not,and they should abide by our laws not muslim law.

  13. Fred says:

    It is about time that our politicians start wearing the pants on this issue.

  14. Michael says:

    Interestingly, burkas (sp?), hajib (sp), veils, are NOT religious items, they are cultural artifacts. So, media, get it right! make some informed inquiries, don’t swallow the rubbish about “religious rights”. It’s simply Not in the Koran…check it out for yourself and see. Ask an intelligent person from the middle east who you trust and you’ll learn the truth.

  15. Dave mann says:

    Most French are Catholics and they prefer the life and torture and constructions of life the kind they gave to Native Canadians in Catholic schools.
    They can not stand for any better culture then their own.
    That is why they removed the fathers name from birth certificate since they can not be sure.

  16. Michelle Cowsill says:

    I believe this bill will remove the right of Muslim women to cast a private ballot. Any woman who wears the burqa will most probably not choose to vote without it, and will be forced to either abstain from voting or vote by the early, mail-in option. If there is any pressure by her family, husbands, or family-in-law as to how she should vote, her right to choose will be affected. By allowing private identification or women wearing burqas by a female official at the voting booths, or by allowing technological identification such as fingerprint scans, the woman’s right to cast a private ballot is preserved. Prohibiting women from wearing burqas at voting posts basically prohibits these women from voting in person, and actually lessens the integrity of the electoral process as their votes may be influenced by those around them. I don’t believe that this measure will increase ‘public confidence’ in our voting system at all, rather it will compromise the right to personal choice and the guarantee of voting privacy.

    • F. Hardy says:

      How does it prohibit “these women” from voting in person any more than it prohibits anyone else? Anyone can take it upon themselves to cover their face, and anyone can take it upon themselves to not cover their face. They are not being asked to change their race or sex or anything immutable, only to show their face, which is completely within their power to do. If it goes against their religion, so be it. That cannot be a consideration, as, if it were, then anyone could make up whatever religious requirements they want and thereby have permitted anything at all. Someone could make up a religion tomorrow that requires the carrying of replica guns and grenades at all times — it does not mean that that should be allowed. Issues of public order would supersede there, just as issues of practicality supersede here. There is no official definition as to what constitutes a legitimate religion in Canada — and good thing too, insofar as there has never been a legislature that has been even remotely competent in theological matters such that they could give a good such definition.

  17. dan higgins says:

    I have never once seen a Burka worn in Canada. A “Burka“ is what is in the pic above. Only worn in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Period.

  18. Phil says:

    I doubt very much Angela Merkel and David Cameron have a racist bone in their bodies. And yet, they have both said that multiculturalism has failed. Its not about hating muslims, its about protecting the Western traditions that make our society one that is so appealing to so many around the world.
    Often people come here for the material gains, but they eschew the other values that go with it. The problem is that things like equality between men and women and freedom of speech and conscience are inseperable from our standard of material wealth. That is people need to check at the door if they are really prepared to accept everything about this place if they wish to live here.

  19. Hagen says:

    What is it with people calling canadians who support this “closet racist” or racist to begin with. Nobody is being discriminated against based on race. Political islam does not care about race. The fact that this garb is a political statement hasn’t occured to anybody? It is a direct provocation to those of us who view this as women being treated as second class citizens. And it is a direct provocation to our democratic system, you know, the one where dissent is good?

    The koran only states that women should dress modestly. It does not state stat they should dress up like Darth Vader. We have halloween for that!

    Furthermore, in Canada we have come to embrace the fact that women and men have become equals. So let’s not revert back by accepting this kind of crap under the guise of cultural acceptance and let’s not be ashamed of expressing ourselves freely about it. ‘Cause let’s face it, if we begin to practice self-censorship on this matter, freedom suffers!

  20. John says:

    No burkas should be allowed in public period.

    • hakama says:

      Right on!!!!!!!! Or better yet NO MUSLIMS IS BETTER! IN LESS THAN 20 YEARS THEY HAVE BEEN A TOTAL PAIN IN THE A*S IN CANADA. GET RID OF THEM ALL LET THEM ROT BACK IN THETR MISERABLE HOMELAND!!!!!!!!!!

  21. thundercloud says:

    Casting a vote is an individual’s right. There should be no doubt that the person casting the vote is the person who has that right. Any facial covering creates doubt and allows an individual’s right to vote to be stolen. No face covering should be allowed..

    An aboriginal does not necessarily consider themselves to be Canadian although they may be Canadian with no other country to return to. Canada is a European creation and its creation just absorded aboriginals already here as well as everthing else that was here. A goodly numbe of aboriginals consider all of North America as their country and fail to recognize the American/Canadian/Mexico borders. I am aboriginal an consider those who are not to be DPs some with more seniority than others.

  22. Alain says:

    I think the principal point in this discussion is, the laws are for everyone and everyone should be treated the same, in Quebec we had a huge debate , prompted by many incidents where , immigrants forced their way onto entire communities, forcing non Jewish to live hidden behind frosted windows, because they could not bare to look at non Jews when they were walking down the street, too ridiculous… and Muslim students wanting to force schools to allocate them a space for praying, when Quebec schools are non confessionals and religion teaching had been abolished for Catholics and Protestant, and school boards split into English and French school boards instead of Protestant and Catholics school boards, and now they want to reintroduce religion in the schools? That kind of made things blow up, and ignite the debate in Quebec. Also with violence and all, weapon of all sorts should be a no go at schools, airport, legislature or other public places; I understand that some symbols have very strong meanings for them, but a weapon is a weapon, so practice religion in your home or place or worship, but public places, schools and legislative building should remain religion free and weapon free.

    • Kay Ess says:

      Alain, you have got your facts wrong. It is not the muslims that forced non-jews ‘to live hidden behind frosted windows’ but it was the orthodox jews that asked for a gym to have frosted windows and they got it.

  23. William says:

    Immigrants are most welcome in Canada. However, when they come here, it is they who must adapt to a Canadian lifestyle and not expect Canadians to adapt to their religious and cultural customs. The wearing of burkas and veils or the carrying of kirpans is foreign to the Canadian way of life. If immigrants find this objectionable, they do have the right to exercise a great Canadian freedom: leave.

  24. Arthur Beck says:

    There is no fixed, permanent, monolithic “Canadian culture.” All cultures change and grow as they come into contact with each other. That means that there will always be conflict between new and established ways.

    Either we’re open to such conflict, and engage in healthy debate and negotiation, or we grow indignant about defending Canadian values.

    The value we need to defend is our tolerance for the consequences of welcoming other cultures into Canadian society.

    I’d like to think that being Canadian means being big enough to do that.

  25. Arendo says:

    I am amazed you even debate this burka thing; off course they have to show their faces before they vote. You take this multicultural thing too far – they will rule over you very soon if you are not careful. Quit being chicken!!

  26. Marc says:

    About time that we stand up against those muslims… if they want to live covered up with their women cowing before their men they can go back to their desert and do so…

    • Rai says:

      Or maybe their women should live like yours, sleeping around with every guy possible and spreading whatever the hell you guys carry and give to each other. Or maybe get their girls pregnant at 14, and they don’t even know who the father is. Great lifestyle. And what’s funny is that you guys think your superior to them? Believe it – they don’t want to be like you. Even you guys don’t want to be like you.

  27. Peter Ess says:

    I have to agree with John Brooks on this matter, and he hit it square in the head when he made the statement, ‘now that we have established that we all are immigrants, lets debate the actual issue. Should today’s immigrants be subjected to our laws and customs?’

    The laws that we abide by are a set of standards established by our government, and as any public school student will tell you, a government is the representation of its population, ultimately a manifestation of its own culture and belief systems.

    I feel that the debate here should not be, ‘Should a Muslim woman have her face revealed in order to cast a ballot’; the real debate here should be, ‘Are immigrants forcefully imposing their laws and their cultural values on Canada?’

    That is not to say that I am opposed to mutliculturalism. Society can only better itself through this. But to quote John Brooks once more, “I believe that when you immigrate to another country, you should have to adbide by the host countries customs and laws’. Should you break a law in another country, pleading ‘I did not know..’ will not get you off the hook (consider corporal punishment in some parts of the world). By entering that country’s borders, you agree to abide by their customs and judicial system. It should not make a difference if one is a visitor or an immigrant.

    Canada was established as a land of opportunity for many people, spanning many generations, and as such, the Canadian population has been more than willing to accept the beliefs systems belonging to those people from other parts of the world, by adopting new legislation, and amending laws to accomodate those people, to make their transition to their new home, their new country, and when you really think about it, their new FAMILY, that much easier.

    So the question remains. Why then, in a country that has been historically free and open-minded, accepting of all different religious beliefs, faces and places, why has this debate even come about?

  28. Peter Ess says:

    Arthur;

    Every country has a ‘cultural identity’, whether the country in question is 150 years old or 15000 years old.

    Canada’s cultural identity has always been one of tolerance and acceptance. That we accept anyone from the four corners of the globe without regard to political or religious view. The reason for this is to make good people better – after all, what are the two biggest vices of man? Religion and politics.

    While then no country or even a small business can operate without some political structure, the fact that the religious debate is being brought forward at every turn is alarming. This divides people, and puts a negative spin on any person who identifies themselves with a particular religious belief. (Try going to the US border and tell them you’re going to Mosque). Remember what happened in the late 30’s and early 40’s with the Jews?

    I don’t think that any Canadian wants to witness the events and/or riots in France, Denmark or the United States to reach our soil.

  29. Michelle Cowsill says:

    Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    Article 22
    “Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.”

    Canada, upholding its position as a country founded and open to all immigrants and refugees is obligated to do everything in its power to prioritize these inherent rights and basic freedoms over issues of ‘public confidence in the voting process’.
    I’m sure the Canadian gov can devise novel and full-proof methods of determining and validating identification while not compromising an ethnic minority’s right to cultural expression, at the same time as preserving their right to caste a private ballot with no outside influence on their choice of vote.

  30. erin erics says:

    Canadian system is becoming too lose. We need to wake up and protect our country. Canada is heading to doom . Just look at these so called muslims and the rest . They are just breeding like pigs and taking warefare and other social benefits without working. We must know that over population will create unemployment for the canada oneday. We must enforce our laws .They should remove that thing from their face and get some fresh air. Isalm is just too primitive to the canadian culture. They should obey our canadian laws or they should go back to their various countries .(IF YOU GO TO ROME DO WHAT ROMANS DO.)

  31. Jack says:

    Some of you sound like British PM Neville Chamberlain, just before WWII… yes, let’s not stand up for our own rights – and then simply watch until it’s too late.

  32. Jack says:

    It’s not about religion. It’s about fanatics.

  33. Joe says:

    It’s About time this country grew a pair and stood up for things we believe in. For too long have we let these new comers get away with there bs. Now we need to do what the british pm is doing and kill this multicultural lie.

  34. Milton Stanley says:

    A friend of mine worked in Saudi, he had a Catholic prayer book which was confiscated. Not churches allowed yet there is a Moaque within site of the vatican. Religious freedom applies to all. When in Rome etc don;t wear a Burka….

  35. Larry says:

    Canada, the USA, it’s all the same. Ragheads is ragheads. They don’t share traditional western values and look at the violence and terror they bring with them! Why on earth does anyone want them in Canada or the US? The best and smartest thing would be for them to stay where they are and make a fight of reform; whatever direction they want that reform to go!

    • Conny says:

      Well said Larry!

    • Tower Crasher says:

      Raghead are totally disrespectful scum how can we let them infest there BS here it is time to put are foot down and say no more or this sh*t. If you don’ like it gaet the f*ck out of here!!!! PUT YOUR FOOT HARD ON THEM!!!!!!!!!

  36. coates08 says:

    Burkas were not worn by anyone until about 20 years ago. It is not part of anyone’s religion. It is banned in most Muslim countries. Males have been known to wear them to commit crimes and escape the law. So, why should Canada allow it?

    Historically, the Burka was used in the 1300’s by men to control their wives in the mountainous regions of the Middle East. The Burka is long requiring ladies to lift it up to move among the rocks and uneven surface. The hidden face was not to hide the female face but to prevent the female to see where they were going, requiring them to rely on the male for direction. In this way, a male could easily control his “herd” of females.

  37. Cari says:

    Personally, I would like to ban the niqab, the burka, and any other face covering in all public places let alone at the voting booth. They are cultural arfifacts, not required by the Qu’ran. But if muslim women who do choose to where these items have the option of a mail-in ballot, then what is the real issue here? It seems like a non-issue, a no-brainer if you will, to require people to show their faces when they vote.

  38. Usman says:

    If you allow the childish, underdeveloped minds of the racist xenophobes – who tell us to “Go back to our countries” – if you allow them to command the discourse and the conversation about you and your people – then don’t feel sorry when they are pulling the hijabs/burkas off of your mothers and sisters in 15 years, and have your face under their feet, kissing the bottom of their boots.

    STAND UP from your sleeping, lazy, cowardly, conformist, white-society worshipping carcass and DO SOMETHING!

    This is about more than “voting with a burka on” –> this is about the way they talk about you, the way they condescendingly refer to you, the way they demand for you to leave your culture, your ways, your thoughts – the way they asked the Aboriginals to do the same – and forced them into white schools ripping a generation from their culture – the way they force you know.

    Zakir Naik was banned from Canada,
    Our mosques are vandalized year-after-year with satanic symbols and get hate e-mails everyday,

    The Toronto 17 are still the Toronto 17,
    Maher Arar is still healing from his Federal-government-induced torture,

    WE’VE LANDED AND WE’RE HERE YOU RACIST IDIOTS, we are students, academics, doctors, lawyers, engineers, businessmen amongst you working in your workplace, teaching in your universities, representing citizens in your courts, healing in your hospitals, selling you your lunches and driving your taxi’s too.

    And by the way – I WAS born in Canada – and I will remain Canadian until the day I die. I was born in Canada when Sir John A Macdonald, Mackenzie Bowell weren’t born here. And they were among the first Prime Ministers.

    I was born in Canada and sung the anthem everyday in school. I was born in Canada and I stood in silence for 18 years every Remembrance Day in school. I was born in Canada and saw the birth of the loonie and the twoonie.

    I was born in Canada and I pour my milk out of a frickin bag into a cup – even though Amerians use plastic jugs with much more ease.

    I was born in Canada and cheered for Canada during the Winter Olympics.

    I was born in Canada and I prayed in my mosque and watched my aunts wear the Burka and I lived knowing they never bothered anybody.

    I was born in Canada and lived watching my sister and my mother wear the hijab everyday happy to live in a country where racist dialogue wasn’t the norm but the stigma.

    Leave us alone, and let us live.

    I am a Muslim, and I’m proud to be one.

    • JADE says:

      Exactly. Some people can’t seem to grasp the concept that you CAN be both Canadian and Muslim. And by the way, what is Canadian culture? Considering all of our ancestors came to Canada from Germany, France, Scotland, Romania, Poland, Hungary, etc. Everyone here is an immigrant, so what dictates Canadian values? Shouldn’t it be Aboriginal values since this was there home before everyone else came? So I agree with you.

  39. Rai says:

    This is ridiculous. As if there a line up of women who wear Burqas just waiting around trying to vote. If anything, this country needs to encourage people to vote. The number of voters decreases every year. We should be encouraging everyone to vote.

  40. Bryan says:

    I am Muslim.

    The burka is not Islamic.

    I am against the burka, and believe it should be banned.

    Those believing it is all one thing, one ideology, one movement… are ignorant, uneducated and discriminative.

  41. Annie says:

    I don’t know where some of you got this hate for islam, maybe from the media or friends or something, but your wrong. Islam is PEACE. Some Muslims may not be perfect but ISLAM IS. One more thing, if you DID get all your info from people who are not muslims on islam, then that is a really dumb idea. You wouldn’t go to someone who specialized in carpentry and ask them about aerodynamics and expect them to know evertything, so before you make an opinion abuot Islam you should ask muslim experts about islam, not random people.

  42. 4nek8 says:

    We as Canadians are very tolerant of other cultures and lifestyles, but there comes a point (like here) where we must uphold our laws and our culture. I dont believe in wearing hijab but dont force my way of thinking on anyone who chooses to, and neither does our society as a whole. But common sense must prevail. We must realize that we can only be accepting to the point where it infringes on our laws and our customs. If we have to identify people (for whatever purpose) than that’s what has to happen. I dont like going for prostate exams but its part of my physical for work, so deal with it. And if anyone is concerned about the religious ramifications of this just read the Koran, nowhere does it say that you have to wear a Hijab, it only states that women and men should not dress in a provocative nature, and act with modesty in public. At the end of the day, be tolerant but uphold our laws and culture.

  43. Mark says:

    Yup these Muslims like imposing their traditions and religion to every single person in the country…. They don’t give a damn, so Europeans are right when they are talking about the Islamization of the west… If we continue that way and no one cares then they will simply move on and impose more of their religious belief… So it’s better to stop it than waiting till it get worst. Just take a look what is currently happening all over Europe. Do we want to be like that? Well I guess the answer is NO right?

  44. Theresa says:

    If I, as a Canadian, born in 1948, was to arrive at a Polling Station on Election Day to Vote, with my face and head covered with a Balaclava, would I be permitted to vote? I think not , so why is anyone, regardless of race, color or Creed allowed to break the rules of this country? If a person’s face cannot be seen, how is identification possible? Why are they hiding behind the Burka on voting day in a foreign country? Let any Canadian go to their country and see if they receive the first class treatment that all foreigners get in Canada.It is Absurd and time for someone in our Government to take a stand. Off with the Burka or Back to your own country. WAKE UP CANADA ,,,we are being invaded with terrorism and soon it will be too late to change.

  45. Raumann Gagnon says:

    It is really a matter for the majority of Canadians to determine democratically and that why we have an elected Parliament . The only point I would like to add is that there should be no cherry picking here . As an illustration- If the Sikhs are allowed to bear a knife because of their tradition or religion then the Texans should be allowed to carry a revolver or riffle in their cars , likewise if one group is allowed to wear some type of clothing when in the service of the RCMP because of their heritage then once again Americans should be allowed in the same circumstances to wear a cowboy hat and so on and so on…I do not understand why it is politically correct – under the banner that we need to save our Canadian identity- to pass laws that limit American infiltration but politically incorrect to do so under the same banner when the target is some other entity which emigrated to Canada !

  46. Canadian Law says:

    Why in the first place these religious cultures of beliefs/ways such as wearing a dagger (a weapon) in public and wearing a burka (enforce on/to females)in public were allowed here in Canada? Immigrants should adapt to Canadian culture and Canadian Law. When I say “Canadian Culture” I meant, well, the way Canadians go around in public not wearing a “Burka.” What else? OH yeah, a Canadian law enforcement officer wearing a Canadian designed police cap. The cap is western in design, I suppose, but it is worn by all regardless of what country you came from (but not anymore). It’s a “Canadian” “original” designed. Canadian Law base on western law is better than other foreign laws that haven’t change humanely through the ages. A hungry child caught stealing a bread/food got his/her hand cut off by order of their law. What kind of sick law is this?!! I just like the Canadian way of life. What is it really? You’re living it already. Go figure it out!!!!

    PS. It’s out of topic, but darn it, I just have to insert/say it. I don’t like greedy CRTC people peopled by greedy ex-politicians. I extremely don’t like Bell, Roger’s, Shaw, & Telus. We should have a people revolt/rally against these thieves. Even our politicians have become thieves. Way to go Egypt, Tunicia, & hopefully Yeman too. Lastly, I like being Canadian!!!!!!!!

  47. Will says:

    I myself have no religion its a fabricated mess we are so called humans the dominant species on earth the sooner the humans eradicate themselves from mother earth the better mother earth will be to recuperate herself wake up humans if you can put back in to this world what you take out we will all live in harmony
    Will 2011

  48. Another says:

    Even though I am still proud to be a Canadian, It disheartens me to hear the intolerance resurface in Canada after being banished to the fringes of our society. At no time has there been a demonstration of an existing problem, but some have decided at actions need to be taken.

  49. CHInaiNDIA says:

    It will come a day (20 yrs from now ) when this place will be run by those from the emerging markets and mideast. Everything will be controlled by them. And then I’m curious how they will treat us, the minority. Stoning, lashes, and else.

  50. hakama says:

    Right on Theresa! You go girl!! You have my support. Kick them all out regardless if they are born here or not. Their garbage should not be tolerated.

  51. VictoryBy313 says:

    People here are talking about “Canadian Culture”
    let me ask you, What is CANADIAN CULTURE?

    don’t mean to disrespect but
    walking out half naked?
    drinking or get drunk?
    fool around with any one?
    being Gay?
    etc etc

    is this Canadian Culture? then it should be mentioned in Immigration guide.
    But when immigrants sign up for Canadian immigration it wasn’t mention there.

  52. simon says:

    Tough case. One one hand, I want to allow everyone to express their religious belief and have accomodation to check their identity. The so called Canadian values are ever changing and we should consistently monitor ourselves to make sure our laws aren’t discrimanatory or simply out of date with modern sensibility.

    On the other hand, the fact these women are basically mind washed and controlled by an archaic fantasy story rule which was invented partially there to limit women’s right, do make a bit iffy to accomodate everyone. Why do they wear faceblocking garments when men don’t? Yes, just like how Christian women used to be brain washed by their fantasy land story, and some still do, to wear head gears to show that “men are head of women” like the bible says.

    If you’re Christian or Islam and offended by my comment, imagine. If scientologists, who believe stuff written by a fiction writer and think we’re basically haunted by old alien souls, want to do some crazy things in a voting because that’s what their religion leaders tell them, would you accomodate their beliefs? What makes your religion superior to the one written by a fiction writer? Don’t you think your religion was like that when it began?

    So I’m torned. Yes I want to accomodate them. However do we have to bend rules for every single religion and nutty ideas?

  53. Eric says:

    As A human being we all should have freedom of expression and that’s what make Canada most beautiful country among rest of a world.
    This country made by Immigrants so please kindly give chance to New immigrants to merge in or blend in to Canadian Society it might take little time but believe it or not it will happen…maybe not this generous but next one I’m sure.

  54. ike43 says:

    remember when the jews were refered to as cockroaches,in germany, well most muslims are worse they prey off our society, look how they react in egypt, peacefull? far from it , they will use violence to get their way and wonder why we condone them, you want democarcy then be peacefull about it , no excuses

  55. Mulligan says:

    Why is there so much talk about immigrants? This is a law concerning voters, therefore Canadian CITIZENS.

  56. Ban the Cults says:

    So, Usman…you are a member of, and give full support to, a cult where the women are brain-washed into second class citizenry. On a gobal scale, I guess that’s all well and good, but it simply doesn’t fit the morality of N. America.