Liberal MP Calls Transport Ban on Kirpan “Unacceptable”

October 26, 2005

Source: The Ottawa Citizen

On October 26, 2005 The Ottawa Citizen reported, "Prime Minister Paul Martin's parliamentary secretary has condemned VIA Rail for ordering a Sikh student off a train for wearing a ceremonial sword, or kirpan, saying he intends to take the matter up with Transport Minister Jean Lapierre. Navdeep Bains, an Ontario Sikh and MP for Mississauga-Brampton South, said yesterday he also plans to raise the incident with VIA Rail executives and the board of directors. Mr. Bains noted that he wears the kirpan in the House of Commons without any problem and is disappointed that a Crown corporation, such as VIA, would order a man out of a train for wearing an article of religious significance. 'It is unfortunate and it is unacceptable. It is disappointing to see an institution like VIA Rail taking a position like this, because you expect better from them,' Mr. Bains said."