Nos Valeurs

It's unclear if Habs jerseys count as religious symbols or not.
It’s unclear if Habs jerseys count as religious symbols or not.

This is going to be a hot topic for the foreseable future in Quebec, and since hot topics in Quebec have a way of becoming hot topics outside Quebec, expect to hear a lot about the PQ’s “Values Charter”. Even Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi raised the issue again on his Facebook page today.

I’m hopeful federal politicians will look beyond this charter’s apparent popularity in Quebec, and speak out strongly against it.


That didn’t take long. We already knew Justin Trudeau was against Marois’ plan, but the Tories and NDP have also lept into the debate with harsh words. Even the Bloc isn’t ready to support it. Mon dieu!

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16 responses to “Nos Valeurs”

  1. The Bloc doesn’t support it? Really?

    That would be awesome… but is it that they’ve said definitively that they WON’T endorse it? Or just that they’ve been silent so far?

  2. Sorry, I missed the link. From the article, it looks like they’re just hedging their bets for the time being, waiting to see how it all shakes out.

    For now it seems (or the media have been saying) that a solid majority of Quebeckers are in favour of the law. But there hasn’t been a real campaign on it so far, not that I’ve seen. Now that it’s out in the open, the PQ’s opponents are going to be able to make their case more strongly. So I think that explains the BQ’s caution.

  3. Although we find this really deplorable I think in the long run this could finally put the ridiculous debate over “reasonable accommodation” to rest.

    25 years ago you would have seen a similar debate in English Canada over religious gear. In the 1990s, Don Getty’s PC government was pursuing a campaign very similar to this one against Sikhs. Lawrence Decore’s Liberals took a strong stance against it and regularly heckled Getty in the legislature over his support.

    Fast forward 25 years, the legislation faces strong condemnation from Albertan politicans. It doesn’t mean bigotry doesn’t still exist, but thanks to the debates in the early 1990s, it is no longer tolerated by the mainstream.

    It looks like the PLQ is taking a strong stance against this legislation. Perhaps 25 years from now Quebecois will be having the same reaction.

    • Yep. While an awful lot of people are quick to accuse Quebeckers of racism, they’re less quick to acknowledge that English speaking Canada went through the same stage. And that there are still plenty of English speaking Canadians who are applauding the PQ’s stance even today.

      So far, the Quebec media and many Quebec organizations seem to be condemning the proposals pretty strongly. And recognizing it as a deliberate and cynical attempt to focus attention away from the province’s serious financial problems.

      • A great place to go and see some good ol’ fashioned Quebec-hating is the comments section of Quebec-related National Post articles. Holy hell, the anti-Quebec sentiment there is palpable.

        • The backlash isn’t necessarily anti-Quebec.

          I think there is a strong backlash against the province simply because it is the only province pursuing such legislation.

          In Alberta and Ontario today, comments far more benign than this legislation will get you into a heap of trouble while this legislation is quite popular in Quebec (outside of the Island of Montreal).

          Truthfully it is only this type of backlash that will result in legislation such as this being defeated.

          • I mean more generally. Lots of seemingly anti-Quebec “just separate already, Canada doesn’t want you anymore” talk regarding many Quebec-themed articles. But it’s probably just the combination of the tendency for the Internet to be a sounding board for people’s extreme views, and the way things often come across at one-sided in online commentary.

  4. Does anyone suppose the strong backlash from federal leaders, the media, and anglophone Canada in general is what the PQ was going for? If they face legal battles against their legislation and foster something that could be perceived as an anti-Quebec sentiment from everywhere else, they can make a case for Quebec sovereignty. “We are a nation within a nation, and yet we can’t even pass our own laws without interference from Canada.” That sort of thing.

    • That certainly makes a lot of sense to me. I feel like their main objective to to distract from the other problems facing the province and make the next election about identity. But a fight with Ottawa and an “us versus them” debate would certainly help them on all counts.

    • I think that’s pretty obviously what they want. This legislation, if it passed the National Assembly, doesn’t have a hope in hell of getting s.1 Charter justification (I don’t know how they could even argue that it’s not an infringement of s.2(a)).

    • Actually, if you read the comments, a lot of anglophone Canada seems to applaud the PQ initiative… 😛

      Unfortunately for the PQ, their proposal is also being strongly criticized by a number of organizations that normally support them. So instead of uniting francophone Quebeckers against the oppressive hordes of English speaking Canada, their charter seems to be dividing francophone separatists while uniting everyone else.

      Even if that were not the case, I think it would be incumbent on the federal government, Opposition, and everyone else to stand up for what’s right, whether or not it’s popular.

      • “Actually, if you read the comments, a lot of anglophone Canada seems to applaud the PQ initiative… ”

        You know, I realize now I actually haven’t paid much attention to the comments on these stories; I am mainly going by the tone I’m getting from the papers, pundits, and federal politicians — probably not the best place to look for a representative sample!

        “Even if that were not the case, I think it would be incumbent on the federal government, Opposition, and everyone else to stand up for what’s right, whether or not it’s popular.”

        Agreed. Doesn’t matter whether that’s what the PQ is expecting, it is the right thing to do.

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