Canada has chastised other countries in the past about human rights issues. China immediately comes to mind amongst the list of those nations that Canada has accused of human rights violations and perhaps rightly so. But, as the saying goes, one needs to look into the mirror before accusing another of something. Hypocrisy is never a comfortable nor is it a desirable term in which to be accused of. Today, though with much misgivings, I feel that I need to accuse Canada of hypocrisy.
What is currently occurring in the province of Quebec with Bill 101 and the restrictive wearing of religious symbols in that province; the undesirable FLSA in Ontario; the OLA in all of Canada and the unbelievable court ruling in Russell Township is proof that Canada is moving away from the fundamental truths of Freedom, Equality and Human Rights. I am still perplexed how a recent Ontario Court of Appeal ruling in Russell Township can supersede the so-called guaranteed freedoms for ALL Canadians as listed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms found in Section 2b. I need to ask the question then: I wonder if the removing of the Canadian flag from the National Assembly in Quebec constituted an infringement of the right of Freedom of Expression?
The examples listed above are not the only times the Canadian Government has violated human rights. It wasn’t too long ago that Residential Schools were operating, with the last one closing only in 1996! Forget not as well the Oka Crisis and Sixties scoop. Regulation 17 at one time restricted the use of the French language as a language of instruction in Ontario and most recently, we see in Quebec, the restricted use of English as a language of instruction and use in that province on a day-to-day basis.
Looking back a hundred years ago and comparing to the way things are today; can we say that we have progressed or made any headway in issues of equality, freedom or Human Rights in Canada? How is it that someone in Russell Township cannot advertise their private business in the sole language of their choice? Moreover, how can it be offensive to advertise in any given language? In a hundred years from now, how will history judge us for what we have or haven’t done in regards to the issue of Human Rights in Canada?
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