Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Ontario—leading the way, or living in a bubble?

This Magazine Staff

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty apparently got sick of all the bickering and decided to throw all the pieces off the game board when he announced this weekend that not only would there be no system of sharia law arbitration for Ontario’s Islamic population, but that all separate religious arbitration for family law disputes such as divorce and child custody will be eliminated as well. As The Toronto Star quotes him this morning:

“There will be one law for all Ontarians.”

So, while George Bush cosies up to African American religious leaders in the American south to try and repair some of his own personal hurricane damage—once again working from a playbook that has seen the concept of clear separation between church and state denigrated and all but abandoned—Ontario’s Liberal government goes very, very far in the other direction, removing an ill-conceived NDP policy from years before that has found itself, in the opinion of many, in conflict with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

So, Ontario—outpost of multi-faith freedom-loving democratic society, or stubborn hold-out in a North America increasingly defined by religio-politics?

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