Divided, Quebec falls - Macleans.ca

Divided, Quebec falls

The charter of values has not only torn the province in two—it’s also split the sovereignist movement


Graham Hughes / CP

The ruling Parti Québécois would have the world believe that the majority of Quebecers in general, and Quebec sovereignists in particular, overwhelmingly support the party’s so-called “charter of Quebec values.” Banning “conspicuous” religious symbols from the province’s public sector is nothing short of a “project for the future of Quebec,” as Democratic Institutions Minister Bernard Drainville said in September. In the 1970s, the party legislated the supremacy of the French language; today, it wants to do much the same with secularism.

Yet the proposed charter hasn’t only divided Quebecers, who successive polls suggest are equally split on the idea of banning religious garb. As this week’s public hearings at Quebec’s National Assembly have already shown—just a few days into what will be a weeks-long process—the charter has similarly divided Quebec’s sovereignist movement.

No fewer than three former Parti Québécois premiers have expressed their disapproval of their party’s proposed law, including Jacques Parizeau, who remains the doyen of the party’s hardline wing. At best, Parizeau has written, the proposed charter is unnecessary; at worst, it panders to those whose “only contact?.?.?.?with the Muslim world is the image of violence, repeated ad infinitum: wars, riots, bombs.”

Parizeau acolyte and former Bloc Québécois MP Jean Dorion goes further, calling the charter “thinly veiled intolerance” of Quebec’s Muslim population, while his former Bloc colleague Maria Mourani has given up on sovereignty altogether because of it.

Rarely, if ever, have divisions within the sovereignist camp been aired so publicly. Since the beginnings of Quebec’s nationalist movement in the mid-1960s, whatever differences existed between members were largely put aside, if only to better fight the dreaded federalists. There have been exceptions, to be sure: René Lévesque lost much of his caucus when he dared extend a hand to former prime minister Brian Mulroney in 1985, and he died two years later with several political knives in his back.

Yet, unlike Lévesque’s gambit, the charter is meant to bolster the sovereignist argument by consolidating the old-stock nationalist vote under the PQ banner. It has been a mitigated success; the party has seen a bump in the polls since last fall. Yet that hasn’t stopped many sovereignists themselves from protesting what they see as a short-sighted electoral ploy that will damage the sovereignty movement in the long run.

“There are an overwhelming number of people within the cultural communities of Quebec who feel excluded from the project,” says Françoise David, co-leader of Québec solidaire, a sovereignist party with two seats in the National Assembly. “I’ve always said that we need everyone to be behind the sovereignty project—not just white, francophone Quebecers. With the charter, it’s like we’re telling minorities that you can stay here only as long as you behave like us.”

Perhaps one bellwether for the PQ’s electoral fortunes is Viau, the Montreal electoral riding. Though multicultural and staunchly federalist, the PQ has historically garnered the lion’s share of its not-insignificant sovereignist vote. Yet the party’s support plummeted by 38 per cent in December’s by-election, held just over a year after the 2012 election. Quebec solidaire, which fielded its first candidate in Viau in 2007, nearly equalled the PQ vote.

In October, Quebec solidaire introduced its own charter, which would allow the wearing of religious symbols. However, it would: modify Quebec’s charter of human rights and freedoms to include a reference to Quebec’s secular state; dictate under what circumstances a “reasonable accommodation” can be given to a religious minority; and ensure that anyone giving or receiving a government service does so with her face uncovered.

“The vast majority of Quebecers are in favour of these kinds of provisions,” David says. “But it’s crazy to suggest that someone wearing a crucifix or a kippa is a sign that Quebec has become a Catholic or a Jewish state. Quebecers know better than that. I don’t want to call it ethnic nationalism, because I understand the implications of that term, but there’s a certain parochialism to it.”

Some 250 hours have been devoted to parliamentary hearings into the PQ’s proposed legislation. Yet charter opponents are already finding their words have so far fallen on deaf ears. “We will not dilute the charter,” Drainville said on the eve of this week’s public hearings, rebuffing opposition calls to soften the charter’s reach. For David, it is a disaster for the sovereignist movement. “The PQ isn’t racist, but it hasn’t considered the consequences of their own legislation. They are creating insecurity among Quebecers, strictly for electoral reasons.”


Divided, Quebec falls

  1. The isolation and demeanor in which this charter proposes is beyond comprehension. Wasting tax payers money. Bankrupting a society lead by individuals who are for the most part clowns in the biggest circus I have ever known. They should be stripped of their citizenship and deported to France.

    • Right, but you have to understand that PQ’s only chance of winning the next elections is this Quebec Values Crapper. The fact that people are discriminated is just collateral damage.

    • Wait, who do you want to have deported to France? Québec has far less to do with France than English Canada has to do with England. Most Québeckers of French descendence are hundreds of years removed from France. As far as I’m concerned, unless you’re an aboriginal Canadian, you’re hardly in a position to be making sweeping statements about sending anyone back to where they came from.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • We’ll go back to France when you’ll go back to England, 1diot.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • You are not bright enough to read a bio on internet. Marois does not have a doctorate from a French university. She came from Laval University, the oldest centre of education in Canada, located in Quebec City,

          • I would prefer to learn Spanish and do less taxing Central and South America. Winter sucks be in in Canada or the Scotland.

      • You have a point, France “abandoned” the French in North America hundreds of years ago.

        • France did not abandon any French people in North America, It only abandoned the Franco-Amerindians (Canadien/Kebekois) who were their menials, but who now insist on calling themselves FRENCH! That is the BIG LIE.

          • ok well then in effect, France had abandoned, or LOST EVERYTHING in North America, most especally after the BNA act… Casualties of warring with the UK.

            Is that better now ?

      • #1 Re-posting,.
        F.Y.I.: 38% = could mean Sharia Law in Canada
        # 2 Why did you delete this comment?
        . So I am re-posting it.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Absolutely,I catch your drift.

    • 38 %, and Canada could be under Sharia Law

  2. It’s my understanding that Québec’s struggle with religious tyranny continues into the 21st century. I hope that secularism will prevail in Quebec, and that the other provinces will be inspired to do the same in order to defend the values of our liberal democracy.

    • I honestly can’t tell if this is sarcastic or not.

      Quebec is struggling against religious tyranny? No. Quebec is struggling against self-obsession and embarrassingly outdated ontological assumptions.

      • Quebec simply wants to leave our dominion and become a separate country. Accommodation is a way that will help in this regard.

        • By “Quebec” you obviously mean “separatist Quebecers”, who represent but 37% of the population, and with most of those being 50 and older.

    • What you don’t understand is that forcing people to stop being religious is not only not going to work. It will actually make people more determined to resist the uniformization. The arrogance of PQ is beyond limits. They already passed a law that tells people how to speak (bill 101). Now they tell people how to dress. What’s next? They will pass a law telling people how to take a dump? Regulating too much stuff will lead to people finding more ways to skirt the rules.

    • Jean-Paul your statement is nonsense. The Charter proposes to use tyranny against those with religious leanings. It is not about removing an accomadation, rather it is imposing restrictions. Secular democracies are mankind’s best hope for a peaceful and prosperous future. However for Secularism to prevail and flourish it must be based on values; values of individual liberty, separation of church and state, respect by the state for individual rights. The charter does none of those things, it is based on fear; fear of change and fear of the other.

      • We are a Christian society and secularism is not our way.. God less and not what we are.

      • My fear is this one: 38%, and Canada is Sharia Law

        • You inject Islamic law and only 38%. Maybe it should be 50%. Because then we can use the law of theives. And chop the thiefs hand off. Your unbelievable.

          • Harper runs the country with 38 percent! This is believable.

          • Wake up canada, we have to fight the Muslims, as their goal is to run the country, and the whole world. And we, the “infidels” will be eliminated.

          • Muslims and Islam. It’ just a matter of time before we have suicide bombings here in Canada.

    • Forced secularism is a form of religious tyranny–it’s a matter of imposing one’s (lack of) religious beliefs on others, and marginalizing minorities because of their faith.

      This is something the Americans have long known. Jefferson’s famous phrase “the wall of separation of church and state” was invoked in a letter to a Baptist congregation in Connecticut who were afraid that their state government would discriminate against them because of their religious beliefs. Jefferson wrote to reassure them that the First Amendment offered, above all else, protection to religious minorities who wanted to practise their faith freely.

      The treatment of religious minorities is a litmus test of the separation of church and state–and on this score the Charter fails dismally.

      • I don’t entirely disagree with the your projected response to imposed secularism, however, consider: is there one belief system that has ever existed that you would find abhorrent to have imposed upon you? What if that philosophy became the majority? Would it not be better to find some way now for western cultures to both ensure a separation of church and state and ensure that government will not be used to impose one “faith” upon any minority? This seems to be a misguided effort to do that.

        • There are two sides to the separation of church and state. The first is the protection of religious minorities. The second is the absence of an established church–that is to say, a church that is financed through public funds and is supported as a country’s “official” church. This second aspect of the First Amendment makes the hypothetical situation you refer to highly unlikely.

          Furthermore, like all the other rights granted in the first ten amendments to the American Constitution (i.e., the Bill of Rights), the right to religious freedom is subject to restrictions, but only in cases where it can be proven that one person’s right infringes on those of others (e.g., the right to free expression may be limited in cases where one person defames another).

          If any law limits the freedom of religion, its authors would need to prove that there is a compelling public interest that justifies this limitation. The “neutrality of the state”, or a fear that hijab-wearing bureaucrats might be impartial in their conduct, hardly represents such a compelling interest.

          Any attempt to pass legislation like Bill 60 in the United States would hit the brick wall of the First Amendment, and would be declared unconstitutional.

          • I don’t entirely disagree, especially with the last paragraph; however, that doesn’t solve the problem of enabling the zealot majority to impose their dogma on the entire population as is the Republican intent in the US w/regard to some of the most important and personal decisions any human can make.

            This is NOT about “faith”; this is about POWER. Historically, those with power — tribal chiefs, kings, military dictators, religious zealots — have been the wealthy few, however, the US civil rights laws and similar efforts in the civilized world threatened to change that and put power via vote into the hands of the masses.

            Sharing power — diluting the power of those now powerful — does not sit well with the status quo. There is much more at issue here than a headscarf or even the life of a child. Those in power are willing to start wars and kill tens of thousands — even millions — to keep it.

            The internet is also putting a degree of power in the hands of the masses. Recent ruling that enable providers to charge more for better service — higher speed internet — and create internet slums vs. internet gated communities seek to minimize that.

            The ever-widening wealth gap is, literally, a defect in the very fabric of human society that threatens to tear us apart. Population increases and climate change and limited resources are all elements of potential discord on a national, continental and even global scale.

            There is a discussion about entrenched “New World Order” power vs. power to the people ongoing in Republican think tanks that might be of interest to you.


          • Zealot atheists have famously imposed their views in the former USSR and in China. Enforced suppression of religion by the State can be every bit as ugly as a theocracy.

          • Though a non-believer, I would not, as an atheist might, tell you that there is no god.
            What I will tell you is that:
            Any entity that, supposedly, killed off most of humanity (Noah’s ark), threatens eternal torture for anyone that displeases it, promises to return at a future date to have dumped horrific plagues on humanity and then lead their favorite flavor of zealots in a global war very literally to kill any person that is unable believe and/or unwilling to become a follower — yet another mass murder — is nothing less than a terrorist.
            If any human father was ever present, all knowing and all powerful with regard to the actions of his many children who were neglecting, abusing, threatening, starving, assaulting, raping, molesting and killing each other while he watched for thousands of years and did not end that suffering — even for the youngest and most innocent children — would, by any sane, compassionate, modern civilized society, be deemed not only guilty of child neglect and abuse but complicit in every crime.
            If, if fact, there exists a Creator of ALL that exists, then that Creator also created EVERY capacity for evil — including pedophilia.
            All the three majority religions are based on “holy” texts that were words interpreted, written, edited and published by men long dead and read and reinterpreted by other men — hearsay “evidence” — with the objective of telling others how they must live. Religion — every flavor of it — is a man-made power tool fueled by fear and need and greed — which, it seems, has historically more often, or at least more effectively, been used to gain and hold power for wealthy powerful tyrants rather than for the good of the majority.
            Religion and it’s self-fulfilling prophecy of Armageddon, is a part of the problem in today’s society — potentially a species ending one.
            Furthermore, a state cannot IMPOSE atheism. A state can prohibit open display of faith but true faith, per the KJV Bible, is not intended for exhibit in the public square — prayer if for the privacy of the true believer and no one can prevent anyone from silent prayer.
            Today’s religion is about POWER and a show of religion is deemed a show of power to and for those that are using it — such as the Republican Party in the US– for political purposes who are working to insert religious based dogma into law (abortion, contraception) to garner the votes of the evangelical zealots.

          • Yeah, yeah – you’ve posted that diatribe a few times today. What does it have to do with the issue? Governments should not be telling people what to believe (or not believe) – and as long as practicing their beliefs do not cause harm to others, or violate laws passed in the interest of security (the need to prove identity in certain circumstances, for example) we should not interfere.

            Problems arise when people use their beliefs – including the belief that religion is wrong – to suppress others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin#Religion

          • I agree with your entire first paragraph wholeheartedly.
            There is a big difference, however, between government telling people what they can believe vs. telling people what they can or cannot DO.
            Visual “traditions” are used to reinforce group think. When that is used as an organizing tool — religion is a tool — those organized groups can be turned against government. Religions keeping women dressing “conservatively” is a part of keeping women tied to a group. Prohibiting whole or part face cover ups could well liberate women to think for themselves because they could decline to wear such garb without being ostracized by friends and family.
            The evangelicals and the greediest of the wealthiest of the investor class are, even now, via the Republican party conspiring to deny individual liberty and equal right under law to some people (women; gays) in the name of religion. The zealots get anti-abortion and/or anti-contraception laws and the greediest of the wealthiest of the investor class get favorable tax laws and anti-consumer laws.
            Religion that is true faith does not need the public show — the KJV Bible even declares that. Those with faith living under secular and even communist governments kept their faith — those that didn’t were only engaging in group think anyway.

          • We don’t have to agree with their beliefs. But as long as they aren’t causing others arm, them we should not interfere. If you try to force them to give up their symbols, then you ARE trying to tell them what to think – behaviour influences thought. And you are far more likely to cause them to turn against the government if you try to suppress them than if you live and let live. You make the government the enemy of religion when you do that.

          • You cannot suppress true faith — what government can suppress is the public show that is a part of the ongoing indoctrination — even brainwashing — of successive generations into ancient beliefs which, in light of their self fulfilling “prophecy of Armageddon” are a potential threat to the very survival of humanity itself.

          • And so you attempt to brainwash them to think like you by suppressing them. Ask the Egyptians how that worked out with the Jews. Ask the Romans how well that worked out with the Christians. Religion, oddly, tends to flourish in exactly the places where suppression is greatest.

          • Goodness gracious. You seem to equivocate “atheism” with “suppression of religion”. It’s nothing of the sort. Atheism is a concept whereby an atheist has an absence of religious belief, not denigration of anyone else’s beliefs. Atheism does not espouse freedom from religion, it’s merely a personal declaration. In that sense it’s not even an “ism” really. Atheist don’t try to recruit others to not believe, or force them. Others can believe what they like, or not. We don’t care. We just live our happy little lives in the comforting knowledge that we’re free of religious burdens.

          • I would normally agree with your assertion as to the values of atheists; it is true of most. However…

            I equate with suppression a law that attempts to force people to abandon symbols of their faith. And many of those most vocal in supporting Quebec’s proposed law are proclaiming themselves atheists. So yes, certain atheists are attempting to suppress the beliefs of others via stripping away the right to express their faith as they see fit.

            As to “Atheist (sic) don’t try to recruit others to not believe”, that’s not the message I get from you or suezbell. And it is definitely not true of the Macleans message boards’ most notoriously anti-religious atheist, EmilyOne.

          • Atheists are not a group. They/we are individuals who happen to think somewhat alike. I can disagree with any other atheist without fear of breaking the faith.

            I can’t speak for suezbell, nor would I try. You have clearly misinterpreted much of what I’ve said. I don’t know EmilyOne nor do I want to.

            I believe you are mistaken that proponents of the Quebec charter claim to be atheist. I’ve seen no such statement. In fact, that proposed charter would require Catholics to merely be subtle about their declaration of faith. Small crucifixes are ok. Define “small”.

          • I’m not an atheist; I’m a non-believer because I leave open the possibility that there is but IF there is a god, it is one more vile sadistic piece of work.

          • Well, that depends on which God or gods you believe in :-)

          • Exactly. If a faith is real, it will survive and even thrive; where it is for show imposed upon by the zealot leadership as a means of control or show of control, it would not be as likely to survive.
            Believers should and will be able to believe what they want, express it in their church, mosque, temple, home, car), in their own faith’s privately funded schools, etc, and even their own business (all subject to safety and security issues, of course) — but not in public or semi-public places, including schools and public buildings and especially not where security could be an issue and NOT in positions of authority where you can impose that tradition on others and NOT where it gives a privilege to you avoid an obligation you took on when you signed up for whatever you’re voluntarily doing — including an educational course or a job or public service or military service.

          • That is suppression – and the top of a very slippery slope. Hitler didn’t just suddenly open his concentration camps; it all started with things like wearing the Star of David…

          • No — no brainwashing — just an absence of brainwashing.

          • You are trying to make them behave – and presumably thereby make them think – like you. To get them to conform to the larger society. That would be “ongoing indoctrination — even brainwashing”. Just happens to be YOUR beliefs rather than theirs…

          • Jews were never in Egypt, however more importantly the Christians despite being persecuted for a time brought persecution to a new high when they became the official religion. Burning books, places of worship and many so called infidels and heathens was common place.

          • That is utter nonsense. You’ll remember that the former USSR was, and China is, a single-party dictatorship. Religion did not drive those governments, social policy did. Suppression of religion, to the extent is was enforced, was merely a tool to prevent organized opposition. There is no such thing as a zealot atheist. An atheist has no religious beliefs. Zealotry is to hold one’s beliefs fiercely. It would be nonsensical to believe nothing with ferocity.

          • Your link to a definition of zealot is unconvincing when combined with “atheist”. Also, your admission that a “zealot atheist” is nonsensical and then in the same sentence claim that it still happens is, itself, nonsensical. Such is the nature of religious belief that one can believe two contradictory things and consider them both true.

            Stalin wasn’t offended by your God or anyone else’s, or by atheists. He was offended by political opponents, including atheists, and persecuted them all regardless of their religions beliefs or non-beliefs.

          • Stalin was a zealot in his pursuit of the elimination of religion in the USSR. He was an atheist, and his atheism informed his political beliefs. A nonsensical approach that cost one helluva lot of lives. He is the definition of a zealot atheist.

          • Of course, you don’t have to look that far for less extreme examples of atheist zealots. EmilyOne is clearly such. You and suezbell are starting to sound much the same…

          • I’m not an atheist; I’m a non-believer and leave open the possibility that there is a god but if there is a god, then it is one more vile sadistic piece of work unworthy of love, respect or worship — for as long as pedophiles have and continue to exist, any supposedly intelligent, all knowing, all powerful, ever present creator of all that exists is a piece of shit.

          • We’re seriously off-topic here aren’t we? The thread is about the righteousness of the Quebec charter of values, not the righteousness of religion.

          • You misuse persecution. What tyrants, including, Stalin do is suppression of any and all dissent of every kind — that just includes religion.

          • Uh huh. Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better. Like you yourself said earlier, it is about power – but atheists are as likely as theists to persecute those with different beliefs, if you let them.

          • Earlier you claimed that “Zealot atheists have famously imposed their views in the former USSR and in China.” Now you’re saying that they’re as likely as not. You’re tying yourself up in knots.

          • How do you figure? In communist countries, atheists suppressed religion (or certainly gave it their best shot). In theocracies, the religious beliefs of the ruling group dictate what one is to believe, and other religions (and often”heretics” within their own faith) are persecuted. It is in both cases a combination of an expression of power and a fear of the “other”. Only one set of beliefs allowed.

          • This debate is pointless. You are not capable of recognizing the inconsistencies in your own arguments, and I’m tired of trying to point them out to you. Believe what you like as ridiculous as it might be. I don’t care. Neither of us has even a remote chance of going to heaven for two reasons: 1) We’re not Jewish, part of God’s chosen people. 2) There cannot be a heaven. The bible says it’s up, but up to Canadians would be down for Australians. So, one or the other of Christians in at least one of those places would point to heaven in the wrong direction. Therefore there’s no difference between up and down. There’s another bit of nonsense for you to believe.

          • You’re the one who is confused.

            Zealot: .
            a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals

            Thus the atheists who persecuted the religious in the USSR and China are every bit zealots as those in theocratic nations who suppress all religion but their own.

            If you go back to the source of the use of “zealot” on this thread, suezbell used it to refer to Republicans in the US. Her point seemed to be – and later comments have borne this out – that religious people try to force others to follow their particular beliefs, and thus suppression of religious symbols – at minimum – is thus justified.

            She sees no irony in suggesting a restriction on public displays of faith to prevent the faithful from somehow oppressing her.

            Like more atheists than I would once have thought, she is not content with believing what she believes; she wants to see an end to religion (a desire you yourself expressed) – and is willing to pass laws to bring it about.

            People like her are what I call atheist zealots – and the USSR under Stalin shows what can happen, in extreme cases, when they get their way.

            How is that so hard to understand?

            I’ll ignore your religious attacks; they show an ignorance not worth addressing.

          • Wait, wait, what? You’re saying separation of church and state is “utter nonsense”?
            I’m not saying government should tell people what to believe or not but I do insist that religious groups should NOT be able tell government it can or must impose religious dogma on any part of the population — such as the Republicans are endeavoring to do for the evangelical zealots with anti-abortion and anti-contraception laws in exchange for that follower class being “meek” and voting, in most cases, contrary to their own economic best interest: GOP economic policies and consumer polices overwhelmingly favor the richest of the rich over the employee class and large businesses over small businesses and any business over consumer interest.

          • suezbell I believe you’ve mis-read my post somewhere along the line. I had replied to KeithBram’s post about zealot atheists persecuting religion in the former USSR and in China.

          • apologies.

      • 1st Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights
        that says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
        religion”. Canada has no equivalent constitutional protection.

        • Well, “freedom of conscience and religion” is listed among the four fundamental freedoms in the Canadian Charter of Rights. That’s a pretty solid protection, isn’t it?

    • This comment was deleted.

      • and, you stay with your Sharia Law (which would require only 38% of Canadian votes)

    • jean Paul that is not democracy you talk about. That is facism. To ghetto a percular race .Is to marginalize their freedom to control them. Secularism flies with about as much sense as eating dog shit. Now you would not want somebody to ask you to do that. So do me favour .Wash your mouth out with soap. Because it stinks.

    • In the end, if you want peace, we had better get religious neutral government in effect and in appearances.

      Ditto equality of women as the hijab is a compliance symbol of submission to “man’s interpretation” of religious myths.

      Doesn’t mater if you are atheist, agnostic, Catholic, other Christians, Jewish, Buddhist, Islam…. there will be no peach with regions dogmatisms in governance.

      We live better as we have separation of church and state, just look at the middle east mess of religious oppressions for power and control.

    • yes, because it would take only 38%, for Canada to be Sharia Law

  3. In western cultures, demographics change with changing reproductive patterns.
    Making separation of church and state an unassailable reality could well prevent a civil war — this needs to be done in every nation on earth that values freedom lest changing demographics put zealots in charge of yet more governments and their military — potentially leading to the fruition of that “self-fulfilling prophecy of Armageddon” .

    • Separation of Church and State does not equal suppression of religious beliefs.

      • We agree. Separation of church and state, however, must include that religious zealots cannot use government to impose their dogma on the population, including specifically w/regard to some of the most personal and important decisions anyone can make.

        • Ditto atheist zealots. Atheists should not suppress the expression of religion just because they don’t agree with it. Which is essentially what this Charter is about.

          • When the public expression is one actually foisted upon girls and women because a failure to adhere to it means being ostracized by family and friends in the only community a girl has been permitted actually to have any real chance to know and/or even by a history of honor killings, then, yes, I do believe those should be suppressed — they are a POWER tool aimed at control and further indoctrination and brainwashing of successive generations.
            Teaching small children that there exists an invisible, all powerful non human thing that stalks all of humanity from birth till death with a place and a plan to torture for all eternity any person that displease it is nothing less than child abuse.
            Teaching a child to love and worship a mass murder (Noah’s ark myth) who, supposedly, has threatened eternal torture for any that displease it, promised to return to earth to have horrific plagues dumped upon all of humanity and promised to lead it’s favorite flavor of zealots in a global war literally to kill all who oppose it is teaching a child to love and worship a terrorist. This is cruel as well as stupid.

          • You assume they haven’t chosen to continue to dress that way. If they say they don’t want to but are being forced to, that’s a different thing. We should be willing to help anyone in that situation who comes forward and seeks help to get out of such a situation. And honour killings definitely cross a line – but forcng them to outwardly act like you may actually increase the risk of such behaviour.

            But passing a law that would force someone to change who may not want to is EXACTLY the same behaviour you claim to be trying to eliminate. What makes YOUR beliefs the only correct ones?

            Convince them with your arguments, if you can. You are free to do so. You re NOT free to forcibly strip someone of their symbols of faith if they are not willing to do so voluntarily [I would make temporary exceptions for security reasons – proof of identity, for example]. That’s the surest way to rile fundamentalists to violence.

          • I understand your argument, but, as a woman who believes in individual liberty and separation of church and state, I must disagree. If this were only an issue about only the MEN wearing headgear or abiding by traditions in a society where men are in charge, I might be somewhat swayed by your argument. However, for a number of reasons, I am not, including, to wit:
            (1) This acceptance of religious tradition will inevitably end up mostly about headgear and/or other traditions required for women who are from a society where men are, traditionally, very much in charge and who have a history of honor killings, blaming raped girls and women for fornication/adultry and the stoning of women for little more than being human with little or at least less accountability for any men involved — and that forces a different perspective.
            (2) In some parts of Europe and Great Britain, where certain religious groups with very dominant males and very dominant females have congregated to have sufficient numbers for sufficient political clout to do so, the acceptance of demanding women wear headgear was only a first step and demanding the acceptance of other restrictions and restraints soon followed, including the acceptance of religious law as law. That will be true elsewhere as well.

          • “This acceptance of religious tradition will inevitably end up mostly about headgear and/or other traditions required for women”

            Think Sikh. It’s the men who wear the turbans. Some of the women also wear head coverings but is is not as pervasive.

            As to your worries that “they” will try to force “their” beliefs on us – isn’t that EXACTLY what the Charter would do, but “we” would be the ones doing it to “them”?

          • Yes, Sikh — I couldn’t remember how to spell it, but that is what I meant in one post when I indicated that that if the issue were only men requiring men –men who were voluntarily part of a specific group — to follow traditions it would seem less objectionable.

            Because men have, for the most part, been dominant since physical strength were the determining factor, when the traditions are oppressive, they are mostly imposed on the woman.

            When I think of what the traditions that will eventually be demanded by accepted by certain male dominated groups as those groups grow to majority status in certain geographic locations (as has occurred in parts of Europe, now resulting in anti-veil backlash), I consider what traditions are forced and enforced and how they are enforced where those groups control government. I repeat myself, but this will most likely come under the heading of: “feed the beast”; “give them an inch and they’ll take a mile”, etc.

            Just a thought: Could you image wearing head to toe garb in 130 degree heat of Iraq; I wouldn’t voluntarily; I don’t see how more of our troops carrying full packs didn’t pass out from heat exhaustion.

          • That depends on the “expression”; and if the “expression” is actually a demand for a privilege detrimental to the public good — safety, security and reasonable expectation that those that voluntarily take on a job or other situation, such as educational opportunity, will abide by the rules of that situation.

          • I actually agree with you on safety and security, or where it can be shown that allowing religious expression is actually granting privileges that others can’t receive – e.g. having to remove a face covering to prove identification; inability to bring a kirpan onto a plane when similar, secular items are banned; no riding a motorcycle without a helmet because you aren’t allowed to cover your headgear, unless helmet laws are repealed for all. But these are very limited restrictions with clear reasons – security or safety – not wide bans “just because”.

          • Not “just because”. Embracing seemingly benign religious traditions is a slippery slope as has been proven in Great Britain and parts of Europe where, when the numbers became sufficient, acceptance of extremists Islamic laws as the law of the land have been demanded. Feed the beast and it grows.

          • Suppress them and extremists within the groups you suppress start setting off bombs.

          • Too true. That is actually an excellent argument for NOT “feeding the beast”.

          • No; it’s an argument for live and let live, until such time as they try to enforce their beliefs on others. Then we tell them it ain’t gonna happen. Like when Muslims in Ontario tried to have Sharia law allowed as an alternate legal system for family law. It was tossed.

          • In the meantime it serves the same purpose as gang colors — recruit, brag, threat.

          • And with that lovely bit of bigotry, our discussion ends.

          • If I’d known you were a bigot, I’d not have continued our conversation. You really do need to get over that.

          • The ban would apply to employees of the government.

          • I know. And I am opposed to the bill. suez and I had a very long exchange and were somewhat off track at this point :-)

      • I agree.

    • I’d prefer elimination of religion in all its forms everywhere, but I don’t get to choose.

      • We agree — on both counts.

  4. There is more at stake here than headscarves. This is about the power of the New World Order. Religion is a man-made power tool fueled by fear and need and greed well used by tyrants and there are those that want to keep that tool viable vs those that support individual liberty and equal right under law — freedom and power to the people rather than those families and groups with wealth and, therefore, power that seems to grow exponentially with each generation. There is a conversation underway about the NEW WORLD ORDER that may interest some.


  5. As the rest of North America, Quebec’s population has 30% of obtuse, self-centered, xenophobic rednecks. They manage to take power once in a while and upset a lot of people with their short-sighted views. It will pass. Give it some time.

    • Like a pimple, it must pop first?

    • F.Y.I. 38%, that’s all it takes for Canada to be Sharia Law

  6. Separation of Church and State is part of the American Constitution, not the Canadian. However it is largely and has been largely a non-issue in Canada. Let’s not make it an issue.

      • Cannot fathom wanting to bow to “royalty” , but to each his/her own.

    • The words “Separation of Church and State” do not appear in the U. S. Constitution, although it’s author, Thomas Jefferson clearly intended it as proven by his writings several years later while President.

      The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms clearly declares that:

      “Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

      (a) freedom of conscience and religion…”
      thus separating religious freedom from government impositions.

      • Maybe freedom of conscience should be but does not appear to be separate from government impositions. Read this private member’s bill, tabled with the support of the PMO we told, that will be considered by Canadian parliamentarians this winter:


        The ban on religious signs in QC would affect government employees during their working hours, while the capability of parliament to investigate employees would touch their after-hours activities.

  7. The PQ under Madame Marlois have a plan . Make it so intolerable for Anglophones & any ethnic groups that challenge them in Quebec that they will move out of Quebec.This will make it easier to win the next referendum. The problem with this party is that they are a one trick pony. They are not concerned with job creation or the failing Quebec economy. Quebec is the highest taxed province in Canada . Can you imagine how much more taxes the people of Quebec would pay if the province did separate? Talking to completely bilingual friends in Quebec they say they are just fed up with the politics and want to move out. It’s too bad Quebec is a beautiful province .

    • And after all the non-Catholics move out they could repeal this charter and flout all the Catholic symbols they wish.

  8. If only this charter would merely ban all religious symbols the debate would be simple enough. However, this charter bans non-Catholic religious symbols altogether, in certain places, and merely makes Catholic ones less conspicuous. You can show none of your religion and I can show a little bit of mine. Furthermore, I will decide what constitutes “a little bit”. This charter is an entirely anti-secular proposal, and therefore it is religious discrimination.

    • @Ian Don’t you mean “This charter is an entirely parochial proposal…”?

      • “Parochial” would have been closer to what I meant to write than what I actually wrote, but still not quite what I meant. I’ve edited my post to correct my error. Thank you.

    • If the PQ wanted to propose a half-decent secular/values charter, they could have easily done so. Instead they chose a more controversial path that helps distract from real issues, while getting the pure-laine québécois voters (mostly in rural regions outside Montreal/Qc City/Gatineau) to rally around them. The Hérouxville town charter comes to mind.
      There is more politics than logic at play here.
      (Minor quibble: It makes Christian symbols less conspicuous, not merely Catholic ones.)

  9. This is just a sick and twisted attempt by a sick group of people to cause total chaos amongst our people. Marois and her psychopathic acolytes won’t be on the ground when the problems start. They will hide in their castles with their own security. Please don’t be stupid. Stop supporting this insanity.

    • Ensuring separation of church and state now could well serve to prevent insanity in the future as population demographics as to philosophy and religion change. Parts of Europe are now seeing that welcoming an influx of immigrants often results in their gathering together in geographic areas and, as they become a majority or close to it, begin demanding the laws of their faith be the laws of the land.

      • Then don’t bring immigrants – simple – Quebec has it’s own immigration and select whom they want. They bring them here and THEN tell them how to dress. This isn’t democracy – it’s tyranny! No English, no religion, no whatever the majority believe they can do to push the minorities out of our homes and businesses. Total isolation for Quebec is what they deserve and hopefully will get when they become their own blind, stupid, country!

      • This comment is deleted.

    • 38%, and Canada could be Sharia Law

  10. Just wait. As soon Marois passes this law, she will next propose a law which makes Quebec not only secular, but also blissfully apolitical: She will ban public expressions of political opinion….unless of course that opinion is “J’adore le PQ”.

  11. Up to the 1950s the Roman Church took full advantage of Québec’s mainly illiterate population to impose, with the benediction of the Government, its archaic teachings. The dividing line was unmistakeable between the uneducated majority and the enlightened ruling class composed of Priests, Notaries, Lawyers, and Teachers. French speaking merchants and administrators were a rare breed, excepting a few paddlers.

    Since that time, the level of education in Québec has equaled that of Canada’s population and consequently the Church’s and the so called enlightened minority’s power over the population has disappeared. Successful French speaking merchants, professionals, administrators, and top management is now the norm in Québec.

    As so often happens, the pendulum is now swinging the other way. Québecers realize that much, if not most of the blame for their past miserable social condition can be laid at the doorstep of the local presbytery and are proclaiming their freedom from past religious oppression, and are insisting on their secular society.

    The question is, are they going about it in the right way, or is Mme. Marois blowing this whole issue out of proportion for a hoped for political gain on the back of a perceived national, and international anti Muslim sentiment.

    She is radicalizing her government, and placing it squarely in the “Raghead” camp, the “White Power” camp, the Redneck” camp, and the intolerant camp. The population was getting along just fine with people wearing the odd head scarf, kippa, turban, or whatever else they would put on their heads.

    Why not simply legislate that a persons face cannot be covered, and to avoid any further misunderstanding Québec’s secular society must be made clear to future immigrants.

    Cheers, Adam.

  12. When the goal is separation, then the key to victory is dissent. Can’t find any particular statistical or economical reason to sow division, then fall back on what has worked for ages – religious intolerance.

    Why would this inspire the rest of Canada to embrace bilingualism when clearly, our differences are meant to keep us separated. Hurry up and vote yourself back to the ice age so we don’t have to keep sending ‘Canadian dollars’ to Quebec… though oddly those seem to grease the wheels of the Quebec economy just fine.

  13. What a joke

  14. If you will have corker which
    are doing religion propaganda at the work and try to convert you , or if the Christmas
    tree will be banish because some emigrants don’t like it, what will do ? If you
    have to cover the face of your daughter, or wife because tomorrow they will
    impose this, what you will do ? If the religious
    minority will impose to you what to think how to behave and will gain more rights that you,
    what you will do ? Religion must to stay in private live not in public life and
    the issue is very simple, you can’t
    impose your will to a nation which has built this country. You like emigrant who
    came here you have all the facilities, for which people work hard you have the roads,
    to have the social system; do you know
    how many peoples work so hard for you to have this roads, do you know how many peoples
    lost their life to have to build this country, and you came here and you want to impose your rules? If you don’t like here is very simple take the
    plane and go where you like What you will say
    if I will claim that my religion ask me to have a Kalashnikov to protect my me from the evil and I have to displayed.
    For me I am very disturb by the fact that the in some religions are saying that
    the women’s are a temptations for the main and they have to cover all their body
    in order to avoid to tempt the main. We are not animals, and actually this
    is an insult to any men. I am an emigrant in this country, and respect the pls which build this country and they allow me to come here, and this country have
    done much more for me that my original country. Look in any country where the
    religion mix with the politics, it is a
    mess, so I don’t want to happen here. An every one which thinks the same must
    have the courage to say it. Is not about to be politically correct is about to be
    have the courage to fight four our values.

    • Here’s another person conflating their right to be free of someone else’s religion and themselves being persecuted by someone else’s demand to practice their religion freely, and on top of that they have the audacity to believe that only people of their specific religion fought for the right to freely practice religion of any kind.

  15. “The ruling Parti Québécois would have the world believe that the
    majority of Quebecers in general, and Quebec sovereignists in
    particular, overwhelmingly support the party’s so-called “charter of
    Quebec values.”

    The polls back this up.

    ““The vast majority of Quebecers are in favour of these kinds of provisions,” David says.”

    But that won’t stop the paper from trying to skew the debate…

  16. I’m not a big fan of Quebec but I they are right its about time someone said enough .
    Its simple, if you don’t like the way we run things here MOVE back to the shithole country you came from

    • exactly, and we do not want Sharia law in Canada (38% of the votes, that’s all it takes)

  17. The religion is a private believe and
    practice and must stay private and away from the institutions. We can’t return
    back 100 years when the priest dictates what to do or not. Every society has
    his one code of conduct and we must respect it , otherwise it will be anarchy I
    know the freedom is a thin balance between the anarchy and tyranny. The
    question you have to ask, is why this is happen; maybe the ppls has enough of
    minority dictatorship. Do you think is normal to be allowed to come at school
    or have on the street a knife displayed in the name of the religion? My good is
    Bacchus but I don’t have the right to practice my religion ceremony of drinking
    wine on the street, or in at work but thy have the right to have knife at
    schools. What do you think if will do when they ask me to convert to their
    religion, or they, or when thy impose to
    take off the Christmas tree, or to paint my windows, or not to drink when they
    are in the same room. Do you want me to
    stay quiet and say “Yes sire “ no, I
    will militate from all my powers that the state stay out from the religion, and the religion stay
    out from the state. Again the believe is a private act and must remain private.

  18. The Parti National Social Chrétien was a Canadian political party formed by Adrien Arcand in February 1934. The party identified with antisemitism, and German leader Adolf Hitler’s Nazism. The party was later known, in English, as the Canadian National Socialist Unity Party or National Unity Party.

    Arcand ran in the 1949 federal election in the riding of Richelieu—Verchères as a candidate for the National Unity Party. He placed second, winning 5,590 votes (29.1% of the total).[2] He came in second again with 39 per cent of the vote when he ran as a “Nationalist” in Berthier—Maskinongé—Delanaudière in the 1953 federal election.

    only in la belle province LOL the more it changes the more they stay the same

    • Yes, the Party was financed by the Conservative Party of Canada… What about those Orangeman?

  19. Secular is honest. The rest is bloody or will result in Bloody.

  20. Now we know what Kebechaos means. So, we have now a new word for the dictionary of the future.

  21. Don’t worry too much eh? Soon coming to the rest of broken Canada to further divide it! Of course this is gonna be controversial. It has to be. It pits the values that Canada was found on with those that have been allowed to fester and grow unchecked.

  22. Sad that womens equality, and religious bias is allowed in government.

    We should as a nation adopt this. As religion and oppressive symbols for women’s submission isn’t morally or ethically right. Its religious appeasement and a slow encroachment on my rights for a religious neutral government.

  23. Any time any organization, be it political, religious or other gets too much control over yourself and others….expect problems.

  24. Funny how often Quebec “falls” in the rightwing Anglo media.

  25. 38%, and the country could be Sharia Law!

  26. which means all of the 30 years or so, the Feminists have accomplished would be none:
    We’ll be ruled by men all over again, and the women just obey.

  27. Whatever!!!!!!
    As long as Canada can be rid of the frogs,,,,,,,, who cares ??

  28. Morais ‘s political gamble is not paying off. It did strike a cord with a certain part of the population but even in the sovereignty minded ranks reasonable minds will prevail.