First, a statement from CIJA ( The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs):
There is no justification for the government's proposed legislation. The government is rehashing old, out of context stories in order to generate support for this unwarranted attack on the basic rights and freedoms of Quebecers, all to find a solution to the so-called "reasonable accommodation crisis", which was largely recognized as fictitious.
The separation of Church and State has existed in Quebec for many years. CIJA-Quebec sees no need at this time to bring forward new laws on the secular nature of the Quebec public sector. The prohibition of wearing religious symbols in the public and para-public service is not justified, and would exclude a large number of Quebecers. The role of the state should be to bring people together, not to divide them.
Dr.Dawg thinks the charter was specifically designed to spare Christian symbols, and I think he's right. In fact I would go further and suggest that the effected symbols from other religions are simply unfortunate collateral damage in Marois' attempt to get at hijab wearing Muslim women. Tarak Fatah has argued similarly.
So it's interesting to note that the first response to the proposed charter (that I've heard) from Quebec's Catholic Church has been a big thumbs down. Did Marois flub the balancing act? Is it just too hard to discriminate against one religious group without either giving the show away or being forced into language so general that you inadvertently wind up hurting friendlies?
Tarek Fatah has "argued similarly" in support of the legislation.
More likely, Marois is playing a political game of trying to create a wedge issue that she can campaign on in the next election.
She's a separatist, so if she can come up with a way to make it look as though Canadian law (in this case the Charter) is interfering with Quebec "Identity", she gets something which she can use rhetorically later.
More or less, she appears to be taking a page out of Harper's playbook circa 2008.
I lived in Québec for 10 years and j'étais fier de être Québecois. After 10 years in Ontario I still miss the pride of being Québecois (anglophone bien sur).
We were an inclusive province, one which welcomed everyone, This disgusting action by the PQ is horrifying.
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