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To what extent should the government protect minority rights?

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Nearly every nation in the world has some form of minority groups from within it. These minority groups aren’t limited to ethnicity, race or religion but can also include language, nationalities, sexual orientation, gender, economic and political groups . However the most domineering groups that seem to be asking for substantial sacrifices made on behalf of the majority of Canadian citizens safety, interests and welfare are Francophones, religious groups (Sikhism in particular) and homosexuals. Due to the Francophones rough history (FLQ crisis, separatists etc.) with the rest of the country and the government, political parties go out of their way to make promises to Quebec in hopes of preventing separation threats again.

Religions such Sikhism have traditions that include carrying ceremonial daggers called “Kirpans” , however it is inappropriate to allow this small group of people to be able to go into populated areas such as court or school with such weapons when everyone else isn’t allowed to have such a device. While gay and lesbian marriages are growing more and more popular, they’re also growing more and more offensive to the majority of the Canadian population has a Christian based religion . The length to which the Canadian government has gone through to protect minority rights is much too large and great for the diversity of our society.

The Canadian Government (particularly under the leadership of the Liberals ) have taken special interest in the Francophone minority, especially after separatist movements being implemented. The government tries to keep them happy by offering special deals and implementing their demands. In the province of Alberta there just fewer than 2.7 million citizens, less than one percent (52, 380) of these are Francophones . However recently the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that courts could demand provincial governments to be held accountable for not building French Language schools . Out of the 2000 schools present in Alberta, 26 of them are Francophone, over one percent . While hundreds of schools in Alberta are receiving funding cuts and new schools are needed badly to keep up with the population. But only Francophones are guaranteed education in their first language, as stated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms . Here
the majority (99%+) of the population’s education and most important 12 years of their lives is being sacrificed to deliver to a minorities demand.

Integration into every society requires understanding and patience from the government and the people (both majority and minority) during the process. The minority must be willing to give up some of their traditions and customs of their ethnic groups to blend in and work well with the new society. Thus when such religious groups such as Sikhs are demanding the right to be able to carry a weapon (“Kirpan”) due to religious requirements into a court , they are not fulfilling their part as a new citizen to Canada. Since the majority of Canadians see carrying a dagger as a threat, not as ceremonial garb, they will feel like their lives have been put into jeopardy because of a high risk of violent crime, thus the Canadian government has dismissed the Sikh’s request, in that regard9.

However a couple of years ago in Quebec a 12-year-old boy, was given permission to attend school with the Kirpan after a temporary court order was implemented . The judge ruled that the Kirpan must be concealed under his clothing, carried in a blunt wooden, not metal, sheath, which must be encased in a cloth that is sewn closed and securely stitched to a carrying strap . While this makes the dagger more troublesome and difficult to get at, the child might be tempted to use it (as almost any other child would) in efforts to show- up or perhaps to prove a point. If the child isn’t a danger with the weapon, his classmates might be. If a peer stole the Kirpan, there is a very likely chance then that the knife would be used inappropriately thus endangering everyone’s lives.

With 72% of Canada’s population considering themselves practicing or a part of a Christian based religion (i.e. eCatholic, Protestant etc.) , gay and lesbian marriages offend and defy many of the beliefs/ ideals taught by the Bible. Not only are homosexuals subjecting the majority of Canada’s citizens to issues they deem highly immoral, but they are also defying and breaking a faith system that has been around for about 2000 years. Continuing with gay and lesbian union not only makes the Canadian people uncomfortable and irritated but also defaces a manuscript millions have based their values, beliefs and lives on.

Protecting and giving into minority rights, particularly in Canada, is a reckless pursuit because of the great diversity of minorities present. The Francophones are taking away from the educational systems in Alberta that are already in desperate need of reform. The Sikh’s are allowed to carry a threatening weapon, while jack knifes are outlawed in schools. Finally gay and lesbian marriages are offensive to a good proportion of the population and their unions insult the majority’s values and beliefs. It is irresponsible of the Canadian government to be willing to sacrifice its citizen’s safety, wishes and money for the sake of minority’s preferences.


“A Brief History-The Education Reform Movement in Alberta.” Alberta’s Teacher Association.

20 Oct. 2004

“Alberta.” Canadian Heritage. Government of Canada.

20 Oct. 2004 < http://www.pch.gc.ca/>

Jennings, W.H., et al. Canadian Law. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1991.

“Census polling information about religion in Canada” Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. 2002

19 Oct. 2004

“Ethnocultural Groups.” The Nizkor Project.

19 Oct. 2004 http://www.nizkor.org/

Baldwin, Douglas, et al. Ideologies. Toronto: McGraw- Hill Ryerson Limited,

“Minority Groups.” Britannica Student Encyclopedia. 2004. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

19 Oct. 2004

“Number of Alberta schools by grade.” Learning. Alberta Government

20 Oct. 2004

“Quebec boy can wear Sikh Kirpan at school.” The Voice of Principled Conservatism. Free Dominion.

20 Oct. 2004

“Sikh wins right to wear dagger.” BBC News: World Edition.

20 Oct. 2004

“Weather for official-language minorities: a mixture of sun and cloud.” Opinion Canada.

20 Oct. 2004

“What does the Bible say about same sex marriages?” Christian Answers.

19 Oct. 2004

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