If there’s one person I don’t like right now, it’s Pauline Marois. She’s the Parti Québécois premier of Québec and her government has released details of the proposed charter of Québec values. The charter’s main goal is to ban all religious garb and symbols for those government employees working with the public. And why would the PQ government propose such draconian legislation? In the name of equality, of course! Yes, everyone can have their reasonable right of expression equally curtailed for no good reason.Look, if you know me or have been reading for any length of time, you know I’m not religious. I’m about as far from religious as one can get, but this legislation is ridiculous and it offends me. The good Catholic separatists seem to consider having to have to hide their crosses a fair price to not have to see hijabs, kippas, and turbans. It’s simple intolerance, and the government is encouraging it. Further, should the legislation become law, it will be the subject of a challenge against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Québec legislation will surely fail.
I believe Marois and her government fully expect this outcome, and are ready to use it to stoke the separatist flame. After all, she’s just trying to make everything equal and fair, and Canada is sticking its nose in and telling them what to do. It’s clearly time to put a stop to Canada’s meddling once and for all! The only question is whether the tepid support for separation will heat up. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine how anyone can get upset at the details of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as it’s been around since 1982. Should the charter of Québec values get smacked down, the more thoughtful Québecers might wonder why Marois sought to enact legislation that flies in the face of the Canadian Charter, the contents of which she surely must know. The separatists won’t bother being thoughtful, however.
Frankly, the plan is more than a little contrived in design and terribly ham-fisted in execution. I have no doubt that the existing separatists will fall into line nicely, but will Marois recruit any new followers? I doubt it. I’d like to think most Québecers aren’t so easily duped.
Photo from the Premier of Québec’s official web site, ©2013 Gouvernement du Québec