With their raison-d’etre of separatism neutralized, one would have hoped the PQ would set to work trying to turn around Quebec’s economy. Instead…this:

Quebec is heading into another fierce debate over the future of religious freedom in the province with the Parti Québécois government set to release a Charter of Quebec Values that could ban religious headwear everywhere from daycares to hospitals.

On Tuesday, a news report suggested that the minority government of Premier Pauline Marois wants to prohibit public employees from wearing items such as hijabs, turbans and kippas, in a broad ban that could extend from elementary and university teachers to nurses and child-care workers.


But the PQ’s supposed remedy to such cases, as outlined in the Journal de Montréal, suggests that the Marois government can expect significant blowback on the issue. Critics called the reported proposals divisive, draconian, and even reminiscent of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Human-rights lawyer Julius Grey, who has fought numerous constitutional cases, says the rules would likely fail a challenge under freedom-of-religion provisions in the Canadian Charter of Rights. Because Quebec’s new rules would reportedly exempt private schools, the proposals risk driving minorities into separate, religious-based schools, he said.

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3 responses to “Poutinesque”

  1. I do not understand why some seem to believe that having secular government requires interfering in the personal choices of individuals (whether within the civil service or not). I think maybe this is a little less stupid and dangerous than the anti-anglophone rubbish that has gone on in Quebec recently, but barely.

    Does anyone in tune with Quebec politics have a sense of whether this will pass in a minority legislature? Is this an election-triggering sort of thing, or is it not a very big deal to politicians in Quebec?

  2. Reformers are having a field day in media discussion on the issue simultaneously cheering the PQ government on for its proposed policy seeking to inhibit the religious expression of hated cultural and religious minorities, while at the same time venting their hatred of Quebec as a cultural minority within Canada and proposing all manner of ridiculous retaliatory measures.

    One contributor to the media discussion on the issue correctly pointed out:

    “One of the most contradictory politicians ever…after her election win Marois went on to talk of the importance of keeping Quebec values, namely the importance of the Catholic religion in Quebec heritage…yet this is the same woman whose education reform of the late 90’s eliminated not only the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal, but also the Montreal Catholic School Board…and now this, clearly she doesn’t know what she wants.”

    I made the following comments to such discussion on Yahoo Canada after the usual Reform outbursts combining malice with ignorance:

    “Reformers don’t have a clue as usual in their blanket condemnation of Quebec. The PQ is borrowing or appropriating its secularist policies from France and attempting both to rewrite Quebec’s history and engineer some exclusive secularist future. In the process it is throwing out a good deal of Quebec’s cultural heritage. I know my grandfather for one, a staunch Catholic, would be turning over in his grave…”


    “Typical hate-mongering by impotent Reformers seeking an opportunity to vent their hatred and display their ignorance, but who don’t have the courage to take their proposals to the Conservative Party national convention, where they know they would be laughed at and dismissed as some deranged fringe…..”


    “Quite honestly, the PQ obsession with secularism baffles me, as it is apparently designed to place a barrier between the PQ and an immigrant community which has no preconceived bias with respect to constitutional disputes in Canada, and given the manner with which it is viewed with hatred and contempt by Reformers throughout Canada, has been given little incentive to not otherwise side with the PQ in such disputes, were it not for such policies as the PQ is currently pursuing….”

    The contributor’s comment is relevant, that of the PQ’s secularist campaign eliminating the constitutional protections of Catholic and Protestant school boards in Quebec in the 90’s, as that was just a first step in its current campaign to purge “religious expression” from public institutions. The NDP may wish to take note …

    • Sounds like hatemongering against “Reformers” based on the comments of anonymous Internet trolls. I don’t know of any politician or media figure who is both praising the idea of a ‘secular’ charter while criticizing Quebec for it.

      The PQ proposals are minority baiting of the most despicable sort, and they deserve to be roundly condemned.

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