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Canada Voter: Gurbaj Singh Multani, 21, 'Kirpan Kid'


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Voter: Gurbaj Singh Multani, 21, 'kirpan kid'

Few ordinary people had an impact on the politics of Quebec in the last decade more than Gurbaj Singh Multani.

As a 12-year-old boy of Sikh origin, in the fall of 2001 he tripped in the schoolyard of École Ste. Catherine Labouré in LaSalle and lost his kirpan. A parent saw him pick it up and complained. He was suspended. The suspension provoked a court battle that saw the Supreme Court of Canada in 2006 rule in favour of the right to wear a kirpan at school. Today, Multani is a second-year accounting student at Concordia University.

How the kirpan affair shaped my political views:

A lot of people think my case made me political. It didn't. I really don't follow politics very much, although my father and a lot of other people in the Sikh community want me to get into politics eventually. But politics is complicated. There are a lot of compromises you have to make at various stages. You are not really free to make your own choices.

How the Sikh community regards the federal parties: Historically, the Liberal Party of Canada has been very strong in our community. But over the past couple of years, things have been changing very fast. You have the turban, the kirpan, some trouble that has been going on in Calgary, and Sikhs are listening closely to what all of the parties have to say on issues that affect the community. Jason Kenney (minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism in the Harper government) has had some interesting things to say. But to me, I don't see much difference between (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper and (Liberal leader) Michael Ignatieff.

Who I will vote for on May 2: Well, it's still early. We'll see. But right now, I am leaning toward Jack Layton and the New Democratic Party. I like Layton. I know him a bit. I've met him about four or five times. The last time I met him was in Ottawa, at the House of Commons. He gave me his business card and said, "Give me a call, anytime you want." - As told to Gazette communities editor David Johnston

djohnston@ montrealgazette.com

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life...ltani+kirpan/4598833/story.html#ixzz1JLni21pr


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Mai Harinder Kaur

Oct 5, 2006
British Columbia, Canada
Intelligent young man. Jack Layton and the NDP have supported Sikhs much better than the Liberals or the Conservatives and, of course, PQ really doesn't like us even the tiniest bit.

There are other issues, of course, but I do believe that we need seriously to consider those who have been our friends.

See my post in The Road To Khalistan, Thank you, Jack Layton!

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