Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Racism, eh?


I was very sad/appalled/shocked when Stu emailed me this article this morning at work. Located 160 km north east of Montreal, Herouxville has a population of 1,300 which includes just one immigrant family. Recently the local town council posted town rules on its website. Among these were a series of directives to newcomers to the town. Statements include, 'We wish to inform these new arrivals that the way of life which they abandoned when they left their countries of origin cannot be recreated here . . . We consider it completely outside norms to . . . kill women by stoning them in public, burning them alive, burning them with acid, circumcising them etc.' The declaration rules out many things that are already illegal under the Criminal Code (i.e. killing people) and also bans things that the Supreme Court has ruled are allowed (such as carrying ceremonial daggers.)

I was curious to note that the notice is still on the website after all the bad press today (not just in Canada) but the council seems to be holding its ground. It will be interesting to see how/if the provincial and federal governments intervene. Even if the council is forced to remove the statements the damage is done - it's really sad to see what attitudes people hold deep down. I normally rest easy on the laurels of Canada being such a great place - my Irish friends hold the universal (perhaps mis-guided?) perception that Canada is an equal society with a wonderful quality of life. Not so much today (come to think of it, maybe laurels aren't such a good place to rest anyway . . . )

5 comments:

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love nin

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