Supreme Court upholds National Assembly's ban on kirpans
OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear the appeal of a Sikh man and woman who were prohibited from entering Quebec's legislature while wearing kirpans.
Thursday's decision upholds previous decisions from the Quebec Superior Court and Quebec Court of Appeal that found the legislature had the right to establish its own rules.
Balpreet Singh and Harminder Kaur did not want to part with their ceremonial daggers as they headed into a legislature hearing to submit a brief in January 2011.
The pair are members of the World Sikh Organization of Canada and originally argued the legislature's ban was unconstitutional, but then changed their position to say it was legal but non-binding.
Superior Court Justice Pierre Journet rejected their arguments in 2015, affirming the authority of the legislature to exclude kirpans from its precincts as an assertion of parliamentary privilege.
In 2006, the Supreme Court of Canada sanctioned the wearing of kirpans in schools across the country, recognizing the religious character of the object.