NBA All-Star and Canadian Steve Nash should worry about discrimination in his own country

Steve Nash is lecturing Arizonians on the evils of the recently enacted immigration law. He believes it "damages our civil liberties" and "opens up the potential for racial profiling and racism."

Lofty words. But Mr. Nash should worry about civil rights abuses in his own country first. Violations of human rights not only occur on a daily basis in Canada but is written into its constitution. And up to now I haven't heard a peep out of him in this regard, either in the United States or Canada.

I refer to Quebec's notorious Charter of the French Language. Designed to entrench French as the common language of Quebec, this law segregates school children into two separate and distinct civil rights categories: those that are free to choose to attend either English or French language publicly funded schools and those that are forced to attend only French schools. This ability to choose is a hereditary right: your classification into either category is dependent upon who your parents are and what their classification is. This classification is then handed down from parent to child. Segregation is a violation of the basic tenet of free and democratic societies that all are equal before and under the law.

For example, English speaking immigrants from the United States who settle in Quebec are forced to send their children to French language schools whereas I, as a Quebecer who has a certificate of eligibility for English schools, am free to send my children to either English or French schools.

The parent/child discrimination procedure is virtually the same one that was used under South Africa's now-defunct apartheid system.

Quebec was instrumental in ensuring that this procedure of discrimination was written into Canada's constitution. That makes it, in effect, written in stone because to amend a constitution is a very difficult undertaking, far harder than changing a provincial law which only takes 50% plus one vote in a provincial legislature.

Certainly, Mr. Nash is welcome to pontificate on the civil rights abuses he perceives will arise out of the new Arizona law; this is, after all, a free country in which even guest workers, such as himself, may express themselves politically. But he demonstrates a profound hypocrisy by lecturing Arizonians on a law that has yet to be implemented and the effects of which have yet to be seen when, in his own country, he has never bothered to say boo regarding a law that has, for the past 33 years, segregated human beings into separate civil rights categories.

Let Steve Nash clean up his own house first before telling us what to do.

Tony Kondaks, a legal immigrant with a Green Card, has lived in Mesa, Arizona for the past 15 years. He has written extensively on Quebec's human rights records. His latest book Why Canada must end can be read in its entirety online at .

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