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December 16, 2006 permalink
Judges who break up families are uncomfortable with the celebration of Christmas. Under guise of tolerance, Judge Marion Cohen has banished the Christmas tree from the public space in her courthouse.
This move has nothing to do with religious tolerance. Christmas is widely celebrated among non-Christians, for example, in Japan. Celebrating the birth of a baby is inoffensive.
Following the news article, we include an email relayed by Canada Court Watch from a parent trying to organize opposition to Judge Cohen's action.
Judge's Christmas tree ban triggers protest
A Toronto judge is standing firm by her decision to keep a Christmas tree out of her downtown courthouse lobby, despite backlash from the public and objection from Premier Dalton McGuinty.
Justice Marion Cohen's order caused one protester to show up at the Jarvis Street courthouse Friday and display her disgust.
Kaitlin Toph marched out front holding a placard that read, "Mrs. Grinch, was it in the name of intolerance to get rid of the Christmas tree? Shame on you. Merry Christmas."
"I am all for immigration and multiculturalism, no problem with it whatsoever," Toph told CTV News. "I have many friends who are from other cultures. They respect my views and I respect theirs, but there is another way of doing something like that.
"If they put a menorah or any other religious symbol, I have no objection, but leave the Christmas tree alone."
Cohen ordered the tiny plastic tree removed earlier this week, saying it's not an appropriate symbol to non-Christians. In a letter to staff, she said courthouse visitors are "confronted" with it, which makes them feel "they are not part of this institution.''
Employees called the move stupid and insulting, saying the tree has been a lobby staple for decades.
The story has triggered a flurry of angry responses from CTV viewers and readers.
A number of Christmas trees are on full display inside other public institutions, including at the Ontario legislature, Toronto City Hall and at Nathan Phillips Square. There are also trees inside the Old City Hall courts.
Lawyers at the Jarvis Street courthouse were also upset and puzzled. McGuinty slammed the judge's order, calling it "unfortunate."
"I think it represents a misunderstanding of what we are working so hard to build here in Ontario," he said.
There is currently no court or ministry policy that addresses this particular situation. Attorney General Michael Bryant said he'll be speaking to the chief of the Ontario Court of Justice about creating one.
Cohen would not comment on camera.
The tree now sits in an administrative corridor off to the side.
With a report from CTV's Chris Eby
Here is a reaction:
- Zorro firstname.lastname@example.org
- December 14, 2006 8:30 PM
- Christmas Tree controversy
CTV is having a poll regarding the right of Judge Marion Cohen to have a Christmas Tree removed from the 311 Jarvis St. court.
Please, go to www.toronto.ctv.ca, scroll down to about the middle of the page and in the right hand side there is a poll, which by now is starting to show an overwhelming amount of support (97%) for having the tree.
Marian Cohen is one of the worst, radical feminist, foam in the mouth, judges around. By her actions she is passing the message to the parents attending court that it is OK to be intolerant. The wrong message to people who are trying to find the best interests of children.
If you are interested in participating in a demonstration in front of the court to bring the tree back, please send a message to email@example.com
The rally will be on Monday or Friday of next week, depending on how the situation develops. It is said that the Attorney General is calling for the chief judge to set the standard and the tree may go back sooner in which case it would blow up the purpose of our demonstration.
If anybody is scheduled to be in front of her next week, we would like to know.