Saturday, February 09, 2008

The polygamy quagmire in Toronto

It looks like the Toronto Sun opened up a can of worms when they reported yesterday that "hundreds of GTA Muslim men in polygamous marriages -- some with a harem of wives -- are receiving welfare and social benefits for each of their spouses".


Today, Tom Godfrey writes about the backlash - Polygamy Under Fire.

An abuse of the welfare system by GTA Muslim men allowed to live in polygamous marriages under a controversial Ontario law was met with shock and outrage yesterday.

Politicians and the public reacted angrily to an exclusive story in yesterday's Toronto Sun about how the men collected social benefits for up to four wives.

Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, said hundreds of members of his community in polygamous marriages have been collecting welfare for some time.

The Ontario Family Law Act recognizes wives in polygamous marriages as spouses, providing the marriages were conducted legally under Islamic law abroad.

Ali said Muslims now want the polygamous marriages to be recognized under federal immigration laws so they can legally sponsor their wives here. Immigration spokesman Karen Shadd-Evelyn said only one marriage is recognized in Canada...

My concern with that last paragraph should be quite obvious to my readers. Ontario recognizes polygamous marriages, and now the pressure is going to be put on the feds.

Since we obviously already give tacit approval to polygamous living arrangements in Canada in terms of financial support and by turning a blind eye, why not give it legal recognition and stop the pretense?

Or is the real problem that the 'slippery slope' argument might then indeed be valid, and no one wants to admit it?

* * * *
Update: Please check out Jack's Newswatch for more discussion on this topic.

KerPlonka!: My socially liberal side.

Gay and Right: Muslim in-breeding in the UK...

Saturday Update: Canada-Dial-a-marriage, eh! - Sun.

22 comments:

Cool Blue said...

The people in Bountiful are watching this development very closely.

Anonymous said...

Five people times $1500 a month is $7500 a month after taxes.That is like making a $100,000 a year salary for doing nothing.No wonder we are the laughing stock to the world.How much of that money goes to support the jihad.Is anyone checking?

Mé said...

Oh, the Polyannish delights of reading about the polytical situation involving polygamy amongst Toronto's Poly-n'asian community and the quadruple dipping of welfare cheques. Poleez vote me off the island called Ontario! The tribe has spoken.

Raphael Alexander said...

Strange, I actually read this at Jacksnewswatch and the comments are all proceeding over there.

I think the obvious thing here is not to accept polygamous marriage as legal in Canada, but that won't change people applying for welfare.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Poleez vote me off the island called Ontario!

How about voting some politicians off the island instead?

Raphael Alexander said...

Five people times $1500 a month is $7500 a month after taxes.

Where did you arrive at those figures? I don't know of any welfare payments which exceed $560. See for more information, but it's kind of murky. It's definitely not $1500 a month, although from some sources I found that welfare payments for a four-person family can earn $1770 a month, which is actually pretty good if you find a cheap place. That's actually $11 an hour full-time work for a parent over a 40-hour work week, so it makes a mockery of minimum wage laws.

Why would anyone accept a job for less than $11 per hour with a four-person family if welfare payments will exceed that? Still, I suppose workfare could up that incentive.

Mé said...

The Tories could have won Ontario had it not been for the faith-based schools issue. John Tory might have got my vote had he thought more carefully about education.

"Polly wanna wife?"

Joanne (True Blue) said...

To the 'Anonymous' who left a comment at 1:10 pm - I hear what you're saying, but your comment is right on the edge of where I would feel comfortable publishing it. Perhaps you could say it in a way that isn't quite so inflammatory, although I certain can understand your frustration. Thanks.

liberal supporter said...

Since we obviously already give tacit approval to polygamous living arrangements in Canada in terms of financial support and by turning a blind eye, why not give it legal recognition and stop the pretense?

Or is the real problem that the 'slippery slope' argument might then indeed be valid, and no one wants to admit it?


No, the problem seems to not understanding there are exceptions to every rule. Such exceptions can be grandfathered to an extent.

Paying more welfare than a couple and several other single women (the other wives) would collect is obviously beyond that extent. There are plenty of men who have children by more than one woman, and are married to (hopefully) the latest one. The "polygamy" situation should be handled the same way.


Perhaps you could ask the Roman Catholic church about this problem of exceptions. There are married priests, why not let all the priests be married by your logic? The married priests of course, are men who were already married when they were accepted into the Roman Catholic priesthood. I think they were typically Anglican priests already and moved over to Roman Catholicism. But they are allowed, and the Church is not going to start allowing the priests in general to be married, at least not because of these allowed exceptions.

Anonymous said...

where do I line up for my 5 wives?

Either this is good for all..or none?

When did Ontario start this?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

When did Ontario start this?

This has been going on for years. It's just been flying under the radar.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Great discussion going on here at Jack's, BTW!

Möbius said...

That's actually $11 an hour full-time work for a parent over a 40-hour work week, so it makes a mockery of minimum wage laws.

Perhaps it's the welfare system payouts that make a mockery of minimum wage laws.

Raphael Alexander said...

Perhaps it's the welfare system payouts that make a mockery of minimum wage laws.

Sufficed to say that neither income arrangement is preferable. I can't imagine anyone surviving on less than $40,000 a year, let alone $18-30,000.

maryT said...

I don't know about muslims, but in the LDS church, the first wife usually had a say in the 2nd, and they choose the 3rd. I find it hard to imagine women agreeing on who should be next. Hey, I offered to choose a second wife for my husband but he didn't like the person I picked. Another slight problem is we are Catholics, but I told him if he was serious we could convert.
I should say my mothers family was LDS.
Men, just think, 5 mothers-in-laws.

Anonymous said...

Hey nobody has to work anymore all they have to do is move in a bunch of women claim they are Muslim and no one will have to work again and they all get welfare cheques. And Ontario pays for it all. Hey all you who don't like working, come to Ontario and take advantage of Liberal Ontario footing the welfare bill.

nomdeblog said...

Here is David Warren’s post on the subject in Britain:

http://tinyurl.com/ppbqp

And here is literally a “money” quote:

“In various other ways, Shariah is being recognized, semi-formally. For instance, although bigamy remains nominally a crime in Britain, the Labour government has approved new social provisions by which extra welfare payments, council housing privileges, and tax benefits may be claimed by polygamous households, and the cash benefits to which the extra wives are now entitled may be paid directly into the account of their husband.”

Cotm said...

Joanne -- An interesting discussion going on about you at JN re where to leave comments when Jack displays his Daily Blogger. Take a look. Your ears must be ringing.

nomdeblog said...

Here is David Warren’s post on the subject in Britain:

http://tinyurl.com/ppbqp


And here is literally a “money” quote:

“In various other ways, Shariah is being recognized, semi-formally. For instance, although bigamy remains nominally a crime in Britain, the Labour government has approved new social provisions by which extra welfare payments, council housing privileges, and tax benefits may be claimed by polygamous households, and the cash benefits to which the extra wives are now entitled may be paid directly into the account of their husband.”

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Nomdeblog, thanks for that info. I saw at Jack's Newswatch that you were planning to follow Jack's suggestion of leaving comments at the actual blogger's site rather than his Daily Blogger feature, but please feel free to comment wherever you wish.

You are always welcome here of course, but it doesn't bother me at all if people choose to comment there. It's all good. :)

Möbius said...

Sufficed to say that neither income arrangement is preferable. I can't imagine anyone surviving on less than $40,000 a year, let alone $18-30,000.

One of my relatives does it. Claims it pays better than getting up early in the morning to go to work.

maryT said...

If the Ont has so much money they can pay those with several wives, how about a law that says,
Any family of any service man/woman in combat duty, is eligible for welfare payments, in addition to their husbands/wives service pay, so that spouse left behind can stay home and take care of family responsibilities.
In AB welfare pymts are paid to one person at an address. If person receiving help is living at home, for whatever reason (usually illness, disability etc) they get less than if they are living elsewhere.