ELLIOT LAKE News

IF you doubt that the fine notion of a human right is degenerating into a greasy little phrase used to hold Western mores to ransom, it’s time to return to the birthplace of multiculturalism. Canada, the country that invented multiculturalism more than 30 years ago, has been consumed with another doctrine in recent weeks. Canadians call it “reasonable accommodation of minorities”. Translated into Australian, the question becomes: at what point should we tell minorities “You’ve had a fair go, pal, now stop asking for special favours”?

To understand this fertile debate, you need to dip into Canada’s multicultural chronicles. A Montreal YMCA agrees to frost the windows of a room used for exercise classes so that teenage boys at a neighbouring synagogue will be saved the indignity of glimpsing Lycra-clad women doing Pilates and aerobics classes. An Ontario judge orders the removal of a Christmas…

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