Opinion: Bill 62 is against Canadian rights

Quebec’s Bill 62 is discriminatory. It is specifically targeting the minority of Muslim women that cover their faces with a niqab, normally accompanied by other garments, which cover the body, excepting the eyes and usually the hands. If it was not arguable whether or not Bill 62 is discriminatory, this conversation would not even be happening. But under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, discriminatory laws are null and void. Furthermore, Canada’s Human Rights Code protects Canadians from religious discrimination in five distinct areas, one of them being services. Bill 62 bans covering of the face while receiving or giving public services, so a niqab-wearing woman as well as Canadians with scarves and hoods obscuring their identities cannot work […]

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Letter: Be aware of the dialogue around Halloween costumes

Around this time of year, Facebook timelines become rife with articles and comment sections on acceptable and unacceptable Halloween costumes. It is also around this time of year that drunk teenagers start to wear chicken-feather headdresses, and paint their faces with washable finger paint in red. At the same time, little girls wanting to go as Moana are getting the finger-wag from the Facebook comment section jury. Earlier today I spotted one of the newer controversies: an Anne Frank costume, sold by an obscure Halloween costume website up until last week, when it was pulled. It’s easy to see where this costume goes wrong. It’s an association between something grave and something petty, making it feel like it is disrespectful […]

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The Varsity looks into independence of student papers across Canada

The University of Toronto’s campus newspaper, The Varsity, recently published an article about the level of independence of several major university campus newspapers from their student unions. Specifically, the article looked at the campus newspapers of McMaster University, the University of British Columbia (UBC), the University of Western Ontario (UWO), and Queen’s University, with their respective publications being The Silhouette, The Ubyssey, The Gazette, and The Queen’s Journal. In 1994, the editors of The Ubyssey were fired for publishing a full-page satirical advertisement that criticized the university’s student government, the Alma Mater Society (AMS), according to The Varsity article. According to the article, the AMS then replaced the editors with AMS members, which did not last as a call for a […]

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University of Calgary grapples with free speech

Students at the University of Calgary (U of C) have found themselves amidst a controversy as Confederate flags were painted on two large boulders on campus, according the university’s student paper, The Gauntlet.  ‘The Rock,’ as students refer to the boulders, are located outside of the MacEwan Student Centre on the U of C campus. Branden Cave, president of the University of Calgary Students’ Union, said in an email, that the Rock is a public space and is not regulated by any group on campus. The confederate flag painted on the boulders was accompanied with the messages, “Heritage not hate” and “Robert E. Lee did nothing wrong.” Lee was a general in the Army of Northern Virginia, a Southern army during […]

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Letter: Controversial discourse should happen in universities

University campuses are an important place to voice concerns, bring issues that matter to us to the forefront and learn about things that are important to other people. For example, there’s no missing the pro-vegan chalk messages that have been making their way onto Carleton’s walkways.   University is no place to hide from discourse, especially if it’s contentious discourse. For instance, I think critical discussion about religion is a good thing and not to be hidden. All too often conversations about religion, especially Islam, where multiple viewpoints are represented become a finger-pointing opportunity. The prevalence of this problem is not going unnoticed: ‘Dear Liberals: Being Critical of Islam is Not Racism’ was Shawn Moksvold’s provocative headline on a Huffington […]

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