Groups favour outlawing 'barbaric practices'

December 1, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – The Catholic Civil Rights League and REAL Women of Canada both support Canada's Zero Tolerances for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act.

Introduced by the Government Leader of the Senate Conservative Senator Claude Carignan Nov. 5 as S-7, it has the support of the Tory cabinet.

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said the act would close various loopholes in the Criminal Code and other legislation to prevent honour killings, polygamy and forced marriages.

The minister acknowledged the Conservatives' stance on these controversial issues has "upset some people."

"Our stance is clear: women and girls in Canada deserve the full protection of the Canadian law," Alexander said.

CORRECT TERM

"The Barbaric Cultural Practices Act identifies practices which are indeed barbaric," said Catholic Civil Rights League executive director Christian Elia. "It's the correct term for such acts."

Sometimes offensive practices are "cast aside as being issues related to culture or religion, which is unacceptable in Canada," he said.

REAL Women national vice president Gwen Landolt called the proposed legislation "long overdue."

"It's really about protecting women: legislation to protect women from the indignities caused to them," she said.

Women have the same rights as men, she said.