Federal Conservative leadership candidate Dr. Kellie Leitch started a national conversation about Canadian values. What are they?

Many of my radio listeners insist barbaric practices prevalent in some countries do not happen here.

They insist, for example, that female genital mutilation (FGM) does not occur in North America.

But Jumana Nagarwala, a doctor in Detroit, Michigan, is now accused of performing illegal genital mutilation on two seven-year-old girls in February.

Authorities also suspect she may have performed the procedure on “multiple” other girls between 2005 and 2007. The U.S. Department of Justice alleges she “performed horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims.”

Nagarwala denies the charges, which have yet to be tested in court.

Does female genital mutilation happen in Canada? The Ontario Human Rights Commission reports, “because of the nature of FGM, reliable statistics on the incidence of its practice are not available. However, based on discussions with members of the communities that are at risk, there is some evidence to indicate that FGM is practised in Ontario and across Canada. There is also evidence that suggests that in some cases, families from those communities send their daughters out of Canada to have the operation performed.”

FGM, ritual excision of part or all of the external female genitalia, is an ancient cultural — not religious — practice that occurs around the world today, especially in Africa.

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