Provincial human rights commission slams proposed Quebec values charter and other charter news

Not surprisingly, the Quebec provincial human rights commission comes out against the proposed Charter. As the provincial charter can be amended by a simple majority vote in Quebec’s Assembée nationale, not an insurmountable obstacle.

The federal Charter of Rights and Freedoms, on the other hand, is in our Constitution and is not subject to easy amendment (in practice, likely impossible).

Provincial human rights commission slams proposed Quebec values charter – Need to know – Macleans.ca.

Attaque en règle contre la Charte des valeurs

And more fall-out from the Janettes, this time from well-known Quebec actress and director Denise Filiatraut, who apologized for characterizing women who wear the hijab as “follies” (fools).

Propos sur les musulmanes: Denise Filiatrault s’excuse

And naive and paternalistic commentary by Fabienne Larouche in Le Devoir, who, while advocating a strong secular approach, nevertheless wants a gradual process of integration and emancipation.

Naive, as many who wear the hijab are second-generation immigrants, and thus to assume an automatic “emancipation” from the hijab across generations runs against  experience. Looking at any old photos from before the 90s in most Muslim countries, one sees much less wearing of the hijab (see any university graduation photo – the contrasts are striking:

Ces femmes ont hérité d’une culture. Elles sont venues ici pour comprendre ce que notre culture à nous pouvait leur offrir de mieux. Donnons-leur du temps pour changer, s’adapter et permettre à leurs filles de s’émanciper comme les nôtres, mais sans oublier que cette émancipation est inévitable et que nous resterons inflexibles sur cet objectif. C’est tout.

But more fundamentally, this assumes that the only form of emancipation is not wearing the hijab; participation in politics, the workforce, other engagement with broader society is ignored. And such participation is a more important indicator of integration than the head covering worn by men or women.

Une Charte, chez nous…

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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