Thomas Jefferson versus the Parti Québécois

Globe editorial poking fun at the PQ’s invocation of Thomas Jefferson to defend the Charter, while nevertheless making serious points:

Jefferson’s statute gave birth to the U.S. First Amendment, enacted in 1791: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Were he alive today, he would be railing against a proposal to force people to choose between working in the civil service and professing their faith. The PQ ministers’ evocation of Jefferson’s name shines a light not only on their poor grasp of history, but also on the twisted thinking behind the Quebec Charter of Values. As Jefferson put it in the Statute of Religious Freedom, imposing “punishments or burdens” on a free mind’s religious opinions or practices tends “to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness.” Exactly.

Thomas Jefferson versus the Parti Québécois – The Globe and Mail.

And Minister Drainville indicated that he does not intend to table legislation for private unsubsidized daycare that does not allow the niqab to be worn but that he would encourage them to not allow the niqab (following the publication of a photo of the daycare centre with niqab-wearing staff):

Drainville n’entend pas légiférer | Le Devoir

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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