Monday, September 12, 2005

Dalton McGuinty Says the Right Thing

According to the Canadian Press, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty will not allow Shariah law to rule in family arbitration cases. Mr. McGuinty also said that religious tribunals to settle family arbitration will not be allowed going forward.

Ontario will not become the first Western jurisdiction to allow the use of a set of centuries' old religious rules called Shariah law to settle Muslim family disputes, and will ban all religious arbitrations in the province, Premier Dalton McGuinty told The Canadian Press on Sunday.

In a telephone interview with the national news agency, McGuinty announced his government would move quickly to outlaw existing religious tribunals used for years by Christians and Jews under Ontario's Arbitration Act.


"There will be no Shariah law in Ontario. There will be no religious arbitration in Ontario. There will be one law for all Ontarians."
As I've said in other situations, you can't favour one religion over another. If he had of come out and said no to Shariah-based family tribunals, but kept the other religious tribunals allowed in the province, that's an obvious double standard.

But, there is a catch.

McGuinty said religious arbitrations "threaten our common ground," and promised his Liberal government would introduce legislation "as soon as possible" to outlaw them in Ontario.
Emphasis mine of course, but please, no more promises. You always set me up, Dalton. Fool me once and all that.

The Ontario Liberals will pass this, the Ontario Liberals will do that, the Ontario Liberals will fix this, the Ontario Liberals will fix that. They're going to make everything all better.

The only thing funnier would be if Dalton had said, "Read my lips, no religious arbitration."

I'll give him credit for saying the right thing, but I'll be more impressed if he actually does it.

Updated: I missed the link to the original article. This has been corrected.

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Art Hornbie said...

I think a green government would have embraced Sharia tribunals. The decision was wrong-heaed and intolerant to ban them.

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

Well, I think it had to go one way or the other. Have all available tribunals or no faith-based tribunals.

I think the Ontario Liberals were uncomfortable with the attention they were getting, so they wanted to shut down Sharia tribunals.

At the same time, they couldn't shut them down, while leaving others.

At any rate, I'm in favour of no faith-based tribunals, but that's me.