Charte des valeurs québécoises – ​Une fuite mal reçue | Le Devoir

In what can only be seen as playing to xenophobic tendencies, inspriré à la française, the Parti Québecois’s leaked proposal for a Charter of Quebec Values, that would exclude any government employee in any function (e.g., hospitals, schools, garbage collection, the list is endless) from wearing any religious sign. Laicisme extrème.

Rather than addressing the political reality of Quebec feelings of vulnerability through the more nuanced approach of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission’s laïcité ouverte (see Rapport Bouchard-Taylor – Pourquoi la laïcité ouverte ? | Le Devoir) , where the only those government posts where government neutrality must be explicit (e.g., law enforcement, judges, President of the Assemblée national), the PQ went for an exclusionary, divisive approach.

Encouragingly, whether it was a trial balloon, all opposition parties in the Assemblée nationale have spoken against it as have many Quebec commentators (in English Canada, when we poll people about comfort level with religious signs, discomfort increases with the degree of religiosity expressed, but people have largely come to terms with this as part of living in a diverse society). Expect of course that other views will also come out, as is normal in any public debate, and we shall see whether the PQ succeeds in making this a wedge issue.

And of course, no such law would survive challenge under any human rights legislation in Quebec or Canada, not to mention the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Lots written on this and a selection of articles below for those interested.

Charte des valeurs québécoises – ​Une fuite mal reçue | Le Devoir.

 Opinion Quebec’s Putinesque idea to ban religious garb from public workplaces – Globe and Mail

Échecs identitaires La rentrée promet un retour en force de nos chicanes habituelles. Et la chicane la plus attendue est certainement le débat sur les «valeurs québécoises», Actualité

Turbans, kippas and crucifixes could be banned in Quebec public institutions under PQ proposal, National Post

L’interdiction des symboles religieux serait une erreur, selon Charles Taylor, La Presse

Turbans, hijabs, kippas face restrictions in Quebec, Macleans

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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