Canada NDP’s Kirpan Petition Continue To Gain Support


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
TORONTO – A campaign to ensure that Sikhs have the freedom to wear the kirpan in government institutions across Canada is gaining overwhelming support.

Jagmeet Singh, NDP candidate for Bramalea-Gore-Malton, obtained 2,500 signatures in just two weeks and people are still signing on.

“The Sikh community has responded with a clear and unified voice in support of the right to wear the kirpan,” said Singh. “The entire Sikh community has demonstrated solidarity with the kirpan issue regardless of personal practice.”

Singh delivered his petition to NDP MP Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina) who will present it in the House of Commons.

“Sikhs have been in Canada for over 100 years and have made tremendous contributions to this country,” said Chow. “The kirpan is a religious article of faith and a Sikh MP wearing the kirpan in the House of Commons, has never had an issue, and it should never be.”

Singh launched his “Save the Kirpan” campaign after the Quebec Liberals voted in favour of a motion to officially ban the kirpan from the provincial legislature, and the Bloc Quebecois were flirting with the idea in the House of Commons.

Chow also expressed dismay that the Bloc Quebecois, with help from the Liberals, are playing divisive political games with Canadians’ religious beliefs.

“This country was built by the diversity of our strength and it is important that we continue to work together and embrace our different heritages and religious backgrounds.

“The NDP’s support of the kirpan petition has really touched the hearts of the Sikh community who see the party as a staunch ally and perpetual defender of Sikh rights,” said Singh.