Quebec's controversial 'values' plan to be released today

QUEBEC CITY, Que. – The Quebec government is to release its proposals today for a so-called “values charter” aimed at restricting religious clothing and symbols in the public sector.

The Parti Quebecois government will reveal its suggestions in the provincial legislature, 13 months after making an election pledge to introduce such a plan.

While polls have suggested the idea could be popular in Quebec, it has been denounced by some politicians inside the province and from many outside.

The latest condemnation came from an Ontario backbencher, on the governing Liberal side, who announced plans to table a symbolic motion related to the issue.

Monte Kwinter’s motion will call on the Ontario legislature to oppose the introduction of any legislation to restrict or prohibit people’s freedom of expression and religion in public places.

The minority Parti Quebecois government cannot pass legislation alone and has said it will seek consensus with other parties before moving forward.

The latest media leaks suggest there could be an opt-out clause for some institutions — with one report describing it as a renewable, five-year exemption.

The federal government has voiced its wariness of the plan, without getting too deeply involved so far.