From The Gazette

All

Pearson school board chairman slams proposed Charter of Values

  • A chart depicting what religious symbols would be allowed and those that would be forbidden in government workplaces.
    A chart depicting what religious symbols would be allowed and those that would be forbidden in government workplaces.
    Photo credit:

“We will fight to the ends of the earth to protect the rights of our staff and teachers at our schools and daycares,” Lester B. Pearson School board chairman Suanne Stein Day said Tuesday.

Day was responding to the Quebec government’s announcement of details of its proposed Charter of Values, which would restrict the wearing of “overt and conspicuous” religious symbols by government employees, including school teachers, staff and daycare workers.

“Overt and conspicuous” religious symbols include hijabs — the head scarves worm by many Muslim women — turbans, kippas and large crucifix necklaces.

“Many of our teachers are women,” Day said. “It would be a nightmare if a woman had to choose between wearing a religious symbol, which is important to her, and working.”

Democratic Institutions Minister Bernard Drainville said Tuesday during a news conference that the aim of the proposed charter was to create an environment of “religious neutrality.”

“Montreal’s multiculturalism is one the beautiful things about this province,” Day said. “This city was built on the backs of immigrants.”

Drainville said that the complete charter would be tabled in the National Assembly in the fall and that public consultations would be held in a similar fashion to the consultations on Bill 14 — a proposed amendment to Quebec’s French Language Charter which was particularly unpopular in the anglophone community and awaits stringent scrutiny when the National Assembly resumes seating this month.

People would apply online to present a brief before a consultation committee.

“The government wants to hold consultations like it did for Bill 14, then we’re ready,” Day said. “We will prepare a brief, just like we did for Bill 14 and we’ll travel to Quebec City to defend that brief.”

The school board presented a brief that strongly criticized Bill 14 as an attempt to “further ghettoize the anglophone community.”

“A (Charter of Values) like this would further contribute to the exodus from Quebec which would further contribute to the economic downswing,” Day said. “And that wouldn’t bode well for our province.”

kgreenaway@montrealgazette.com

Philip Authier of The Gazette contributed to this report.

 

10 comments

  1. Great to hear that the commission is taking a stand against this discriminatory charter. What next? Bring in the Religious Symbol Police?

  2. My fathers generation fought a bitter war against a system that thought that it was the master race. It started with attitudes that we see today in Quebec. You would think the world would have learned by now to get along. Multiculturalism works in the rest of Canada so what is wrong with Quebec?
    No good can come of such laws. In the eyes of the civilized world Quebec politics is a bad joke.
    What is really important to a people is a sound economy, health care, and an education for our children so that they too can progress in this world.
    Racist policies and rewriting history to suit a political agenda is where Adolf started. Don’t let history repeat itself.

    • Thanks for showing Godwin’s Law holds true. Anytime liberals don’t like what is going on they manage to bring in a reference to Hitler. FYI, the only hatred going on in Western countries is that towards Jueo-Christian beliefs and domestic culture. Why is it acceptable (and not Naziesque) for non-Western countries to protect their cultures, but as soon as a Western country (in this case a province) tries to do the same they are labeled “racist”? Give it a rest. I for one know my grandfather (and the majority of his generation) would roll over in his grave to see his Canadian culture thrown aside to accommodate today’s immigrants.

  3. Totally disagree with your article – this is a good thing for our Province.

    It’s time that we protect our culture once and for all.

    Richard

    • I honestly hope I meet you in the street one day…

      “Our culture” came from Europe, not North America, our foundations were built on imigrants, Imagine if all these people had to choose between their religion or their job… I can guarantee that many people will leave this province, and when they do, who will fill their positions? Businesses will leave once again to Toronto/Ottawa, and Montreal will be left with nothing buy hockey.

      • very true, our culture did come from European immigrants. At that time European meant Judeo-Christian, not Sikh, Tamil, Muslim etc. Why is it that African culture is protected in Africa, Indian culture is protected in India, Muslim culture is protected in the Middle East, but in Canada .. well .. that’s different! We can’t possibly protect OUR culture .. that would be racist! (eye roll). p.s. I would seriously like to meet you on the street too .. tough guy.

  4. By Michael Mcgregor

    What Culture are we protecting by these stupid laws instituted by a minority government that is afraid to let their “Culture” stand up to all the Multi cultures in the world? What a fear mongering bunch of dolts we have at the moment in Quebec City. This is nothing more than a power grab at the cost of the minorities in this provence.

    this PQ party creates hate where there was none . This PQ Party diverts attention of the public in quebec from the real issues of Job , Infrastructure, and health. What achievments have they attained there ? exactly lets understand what these racist elite bums are really trying to do and rid Qubec of this type of government in the next and all subsequent elections.

    Long Live freedoms of religion, speech , language and race in Quebec , Long Live Multiculturism !

  5. I really don’t want to agree or disagree with the Charter, that is an argument meant for other people. I just want to ask where was the protection for multi-culturalism when a young man was told he could not wear a symbolic ceremonial dagger under his clothes. I think Mrs. Day is crying out for the teachers but who was there to help a student who lost a year or years of his high school life because he had to chose between school or his religion. I think Mrs. Day argument re-opens the door for the argument again for certain young men to wear a ceremonial dagger. After all, head scarves are not the only religious symbols in the world.

    I guess that kind of means if you don’t want daggers in the school you support the charter and if you don’t support the charter then ANY religious symbols should be allowed.

  6. By Elsie Treize

    The Bouchard Taylor commission said that the cross in the national assembly should come down, but the PQ plans to leave the cross there. It should come down. Otherwise, you have members of parliament carrying out their duties in front of a Christian symbol – a clear indication that Christianity rules parliament.
    Remember all the fuss over young soccer players wearing turbans, and a few years ago it was an 11 year old girl wearing a hijab on the soccer field? Would it be too much to ask parents to allow their children to dress in a neutral manner, then at age 18 a person decides for themselves if they wish to dress in a religious manner? I suppose it would be too much.
    People should not cover their faces when seeking services from the government. Students should not cover their faces when at school. It’s important to know if the person behind the coverings is who they claim to be!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>