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Canada Grapples With Adapting to Minority Needs
by Elaine Smith
As Canadian universities adjust to the country's increasingly multicultural population, one area that has been especially difficult has been accommodating religious differences and needs.
At York University in Toronto, a furor erupted in January over a request by a student taking an online sociology course to forgo an on-campus session, because he said his religious beliefs did not permit casual contact with women.
In Quebec, meanwhile, debate has begun on a proposed Secular Charter of Rights that would make it illegal for all public employees — including university staff and faculty members — to wear or display religious symbols, such as Muslim head scarves or Jewish skullcaps.
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