PQ's charter of values

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DaveW
PQ's charter of values

 

telling news item this morning; Bill 14 is all but dead:

http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/retreats+controversial+language+bill/8850096/story.html

In the spring, when one family member was quite agitated about this proposed  language bill, I said, nothing to fear.  Bill 14 is composed of 5 key initiatives, and 3-4 of them have fatal shortcomings:

- any restriction on junior-college entry would enrage the French middle class,

- any adjustment for Quebec Charter would be very vulnerable, and alienate the Quebec op-ed class

- any (largelyfrancophone) Cdn. Forces schooling in English largely happens in a key Opposition riding and wil be vetoed by their MNAs,

- businesss in the dirvers seat during an economic downturn and extension of francization to smaller businesses is radioactive.

- etc.

Sure enough, Marois admits it's over.

Which brings us to the short-sighted and near hysterical reactions by some here and in the Anglo media generally (Babble is basically an Anglo media outlet)  to the (leaked, provisional, unverified) draft accounts of a possible charter of values ....

Caveat emptor.

 

 

 

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DaveW

 quoth The Gazette:

[Marois] quickly blamed the Liberals for the language bust, citing their consistent stonewalling. There's little she can do, as leader of a minority government, and the bill is most likely destined to die on the order paper, Marois said.

She still has hopes last-ditch talks with the second opposition party, the Coalition Avenir Québec, will yield a compromise, but admitted things appear bleak.

To water down the bill any further to garner support from the other parties — something Marois is not willing to do — is to defeat the purpose of the exercise which was designed to strengthen the Charter of the French Language, she said.

"Unfortunately, the law we presented was not adopted," Marois said. "There are still talks with the opposition, but, at this time, I don't think we can make more changes than the ones we proposed.

"We want to adopt this law, but, if it is not, we can't force things so it will die on the order paper."

The statement represents a significant flip-flop for the PQ, which campaigned on a promise to tighten up the charter, but has had little success since taking power a year ago.

Language Minister Diane De Courcy, who was responsible for steering Bill 14 through the legislative process, investing weeks of public hearings and consultations, was not present when Marois made the statement.

DaveW
Otavano

Now I'm leaning against the 'Values Charter' based on the information revealed about it so far.

However, I have another question here:

Supposing that a non-Muslim woman wears a hijab for fashion or esthetic reasons (after all, Muslims have never copyrighted it as such). Or supposing that a non-Christian wears a cross on a necklace again for esthetic or fashion reasons. I'm sure we can think up other such examples like a non-Sikh and non-Muslim man wearing the turban just because he likes it. In such cased, would the government then argue that it's not a religious garment so it's ok to wear it, in which case it would be deciding based on intent? Or would the government itself legally define what is a religious garment, which seems to contradict the notion of secularity. After all, why would a secular government want to impose a religious value on a piece of clothng that may have no religious significance to the wearer. These are questions that would need to be addressed before such a law could even be contemplated.

Otavano

Now as for Bill 101, if we consider that in its current form it even requires the local indigenous language to be subservient to French in all commercial signage, it would seem the current Bill 101 would need to be modified to better respect the local indigenous language before it being strengthened to further suffocate them.

Boze

I thought progressives and the labour movement were supposed to support workers. What do workers want? AUTONOMY. Name one worker who gives a shit what his co-workers are wearing and I'll show you an asshole!

Granted, I'm an iconoclast who thinks people shouldn't surrender any rights to autonomy when on the job - they ought to be able to dress how they like, speak how they like, and tell their bosses to go fuck themselves if they want to - but when I hear politicians speak of "values," "I reach for my revolver."

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Scoring political points with Québec's secularism charter

Contrary to what the mainstream English press will have you believe, Québec is not the most racist place in Canada. Racism is sewn into the fabric of Canadian society Québec is just one piece of that fabric.

English politicians have been quick to score political points by capitalizing on easy and age-old divisions: when they condemn Québec, the Parti Québecois or Pauline Marois for being racist they’re saying: "Look at them!" Or, in other words, "Don’t look at us!"

Indeed, the Parti Québecois' Charte de la laïcité is a gift to Canadian politicians. The Ontario government has jumped at this opportunity and condemned the charter before it was even released.

This condemnation is pretty vacant when you consider that just last Friday, the Ontario government challenged its own responsibility to give OHIP coverage to two migrant workers who were injured on the job. Ontario believes that foreign workers (who are mostly racialized), once injured and unable to work, should be kicked off the provincial health plan.

lagatta

Québec solidaire and la Fédération des femmes du Québec are both opposed to the "dress code".

I'm very much in favour of secularism - starting with an end to funding to private religious schools, and in general, to private schools (perhaps some exceptions for "alternative" schools or those targeting children who don't do well in the mainstream, until the public educational system can accomodate them). But how people dress, within reason, is none of my business.

I know a couple of ladies undergoing chemo who often wear scarves - they don't always want to wear a hot, heavy wig.

One of the really weird things is that Québec is benefiting - unfairly - from job discrimination against women wearing hijab, in terms of daycare - early childhood education staff. Those I know who wear hijab are university-educated and speak extremely good French with a rich vocabulary, and seem extremely devoted to the kids.

Another weird thing is the idea of extending this to bus drivers. I confess I'd have a positive discrimination towards practising Muslims and Sikhs driving buses, especially on a Sunday morning, as they are far less likely to be hung over...

Par contre, the vile anti-Québécois comments on English-Canadian websites (I don't mean "RoC", I'm certainly including the Montreal Gazette) are no sterling example of "tolerance" either. We have good reason to be against religious domination. And Ontario still has confessional school boards.

Caissa

The PQ's suggestions seem to be divisive politics and their worst. I doubt these changes would survive a court challenge. The notwithstanding clause might be the only way to implement them.

mark_alfred

I suspect that as Mulcair stated it was just a balloon that was floated with the knowledge that it would fail.  So perhaps it was more an odd PR exercise than an actual attempt at legislating change.

Caissa

Or designed to stake out turf for the next provincial election.

sanizadeh

Essentially PQ is trying to add the right wing and anti-immigrant votes to its base.

DaveW

oh definitely:

I am so old I can recall when the young PQ really OWNED East End Montreal; all 6 of their firebrand caucus members came from there; that has eroded over the decades  a lot as French people have move outward to the suburbs, in part

also, they have rivals like QSolidaire in several urban ridings where they used to predominate

basically, it is a party at about 30 per cent average support over the last 6-7 years that cannot easily form a majority and cannot act on its core objectives without a majority;

 hence the appeal to an issue that back in 2007 was a winner for Mario Dumont and his ADQ during the "reasonable accommodations"" debate ...

My guess: Liberals still win next QC election, but this complicates things.

lagatta

Which never really works, as the ADQ owns that brand. Not all the right wing, the Liberal Party is rightwing as well, but of a different kind, involved in ethnic-elite power-broking (which isolates immigrant communities and is no more inclusive, really).

DaveW

I don't think the old ADQ = new CAQ;

the latter sunk Bill 14 by their tepid, yes/no ambivalence, and may do much the same with this thing ...

Unionist

lagatta wrote:

Which never really works, as the ADQ owns that brand.

You mean CAQ, no doubt.

But I see it differently. In Québec, no one owns anything. Non-partisan fluidity is the order of the day.

So - I think the PQ's master plan is to steal back CAQ's temporary voting base (mostly right-wing soft sovereignist rural etc.), render CAQ irrelevant by showing that the PQ can champion whatever CAQ is putting forward, and return to the two-party system which gave the PQ all its majority governments. No one can really wipe out the Liberal party, so this is the PQ's best approach.

So, if they come to a compromise with CAQ that allows this disgusting piece of legislation to pass, CAQ is left with... what? And if they don't, their secondary position will be that they need a majority government - or sovereignty - to allow the will of the people to triumph.

In their selfish quest, they don't mind feeding xenophobia and chauvinism. Goes well with economic neoliberalism.

May their hopes be dashed. Québec Solidaire has condemned their effort, and I think I heard Richard Bergeron do likewise on the radio today - good for him and Projet Montréal! It's long past time for the PQ to go the way of the BQ.

ETA: Crossposted with DaveW. He may be right as well.

lagatta

You heard right: Bergeron condemned the proposal on Radio-Canada this morning. I switch between Radio-Canada and CBC; often both interview a given personality the same morning. La Fédération des femmes du Québec has also condemned the proposal.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

In their selfish quest, they don't mind feeding xenophobia and chauvinism. Goes well with economic neoliberalism.

Not to mention that I don't think Jason Kenney could have made a statement that better served their purposes if Marois had written it herself.

And it is astonishing the number of people ostensibly on the left who don't see that they are just doing an errand for the right wing christians (who after all aren't obliged to wear any symbols at all, but are surely pretty happy to see those of other faiths out of work).

Yup. So long people respond in a reactive way to this it is hard not to see it as a win-win for the PQ. It is good that some are seeing past it.

 

DaveW

"it is hard not to see it as a win-win for the PQ"

.... uh, au contraire, they could blow everything; this morning's Journal de Montreal, which is the East End-based, Peladeau-owned, lower-middle class nationalist core readership, has a rigorously 50-50 pro-con front page today, with all their columnists addressing the issue and separated down the middle

until shown otherwise, the PQ is navigating a 3-way race, with 30-32 per cent of the vote, and they cannot advance any other agenda as a minority

one possible outcome: Liberals crush them next election

Pauline Marois, pompier pyromane, RIP

 

6079_Smith_W

"so long as people respond to this in a reactive way...."

It is hard not to see it as a win-win.

And that cuts across parties and demographics, in Quebec and in Canada.

If the actions of our federal government is any indication, there are more than enough people willing to fall for it. And as we have seen already, once it becaomes an issue of sovereignty, it is a whole other ballgame.

Of course, maybe they aren't so stupid after all, and Harper ultimately has the same goal as Marois. I certainly wouldn't put it past him to burn down the house in order to keep power.

 

mark_alfred

There's a new development in the story on this so-called values charter:  Quebec values charter backed by public sector union

6079_Smith_W

A bunch of guys want to jump the queue when it comes to seniority? Why is that not surprising? And when were the actions of most trade unions not like that of political parties (I'd complain more if they didn't take political stands)?

Yeah, we had a similar vote here not too long ago in favour of bringing nuclear power plants into this province. I don't see this as having any more of a moral foundation simply because it came though a union. THis is what the members want; that doesn't make it just.

 

lagatta

Er, the public service union isn't all "guys" by a long shot...

6079_Smith_W

I know... I used the term deliberately as a slam against those most likely to fall for this kind of selfishness.

(edit)

Go ahead... accuse me of being anti-guy if you want

*grin*

 

 

lagatta

I hope you'll excuse this inevitable segue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=girW7nTNnMQ "My God, aka My Guy" Not mocking either Catholic nuns or Muslim grils who wear hijab...

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Charte des valeurs: l'île de Montréal se rebiffe

Les municipalités de l'île de Montréal, où vivent 1,8 million de personnes, demanderont à l'unanimité au ministre Bernard Drainville d'être soustraites à la Charte des valeurs rendue publique hier.

À l'issue d'une réunion, les maires des 15 villes défusionnées de l'île de Montréal ont adopté une résolution qui rejette fermement la Charte des valeurs présentée par le gouvernement péquiste.

Si cette charte prenait force de loi, les 15 maires se prévaudraient, à l'unanimité, du droit de retrait prévu dans le projet de loi. Déjà, les trois principaux candidats à la mairie de Montréal avaient indiqué hier qu'ils demanderaient une telle exemption s'ils étaient élus.

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Québec is in dire need of a provincial NDP option.

Unionist

Wow - Radio-Canada reports that Ahuntsic MP Maria Mourani has been expelled from the Bloc caucus for publicly opposing the PQ's draft charter of "values".

Hopefully, another nail in the coffin for the Bloc - supporting aggression abroad (Afghanistan) and at home.

[url=http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/Politique/2013/09/12/002-maria-mour... (in French)[/url]

And thanks, Stockholm, for this English-language report:

[url=http://o.canada.com/2013/09/12/maria-mourani-expelled-from-bloc-caucus-o... English[/url]

 

Caissa

Maybe she can join the NDP.

Stockholm

The NDP doesn't accept floor-crossers. She would have to resign and run in a byelection under the NDP banner. She would also have to renounce er part support of Quebec independence.

I predict she will stew in her own juices as an Independent and collect her salary as an MP until 2015 - and then she will either retire or decide at that point to run again as a NDPer

lagatta

She is very progressive, and could make a good NDP MP, but I suspect they would find her too "indépendantiste", even if she shuts up about the national question.

The Bloc are idiots. She was the best thing they had going for them.

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:

The NDP doesn't accept floor-crossers.

They've never had any offers.

Quote:
She would also have to renounce er part support of Quebec independence.

Seriously? Like, would it have to be done under oath - or accompanied by a surety in the event of slippage?

I don't recall all the newly-elected NDP MPs making such a renunciation, but I'll research that. If I find any missing, I'll refer them to the Council for Doctrinal Purity for appropriate action.

 

lagatta

They didn't ask my MP, Alexandre Boulerice, for any such renunciation.

Stockholm

After the events of the past few days - Mourani may have already decided that the whole sovereigntist movement has taken a turn into something ugly and unpalatable for her...If she wanted to join the NDP she would have to declare herself to have converted to federalism - no ifs, ands or buts.

infracaninophile infracaninophile's picture

Catchfire wrote:

Charte des valeurs: l'île de Montréal se rebiffe

 Déjà, les trois principaux candidats à la mairie de Montréal avaient indiqué hier qu'ils demanderaient une telle exemption s'ils étaient élus.

 

Bien. On verra....

6079_Smith_W

Heard another argument on Q this morning that I should have seen coming - "Canada's head of state is also head of a church".

(never mind the circumstances under which the English crown was forced to wrest that religious power away )

Woo hoo. Looks like we're going to party like it's 1549.

 

 

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:

After the events of the past few days - Mourani may have already decided that the whole sovereigntist movement has taken a turn into something ugly and unpalatable for her...If she wanted to join the NDP she would have to declare herself to have converted to federalism - no ifs, ands or buts.

Your ultimatum sounds exactly like the statement of Bloc leader Daniel Paillé, when he expelled her for heresy.

If you renounce federalism publicly, you might fit quite well in his party. Since you're not an elected MP, you could even cross the floor immediately!

 

Caissa

She's not a potential floor crosser; she was expelled from caucus.  Since when did NDP MP's have to swear allegiance to any creed let alone federalism?

Stockholm

lagatta wrote:

They didn't ask my MP, Alexandre Boulerice, for any such renunciation.

Was he ever elected to Parliament in the past running for a single issue pro-independence party?

Stockholm

Caissa wrote:

She's not a potential floor crosser; she was expelled from caucus.  Since when did NDP MP's have to swear allegiance to any creed let alone federalism?

Since always. Anyone running for the NDP has to accept the NDP core principles - for example you cannot run for the NDP and want to scrap Medicare, you cannot run for the NDP and want to make abortion illegal, you cannot run for the NDP and be against equal rights for LGBT people...the NDP is also a federalist party and if you join you have to accept that. Period.

This is all very hypothetical of course - but Mourani may be casting about for a new home since her chances of being re-elected as an independent are NIL.

The NDP of course may not even want her - since she may or may not be viewed as a "high value" MP...

Caissa

You ignored my "swear allegiance to" I doubt every NDP MP has had to do that. Given its place in the polls the NDP would be crazy not to add another member to thir caucus if they have the chance. They could instead lose the opportunity to Trudeau fils.

Unionist

Anyway, this xenophobic onslaught by the PQ - and the resistance to it, including from prominent sovereignists - is far more important than the obsession of some individuals as to whether Justin Trudeau or Tom Mulcair can add another voting robot to their respective caucuses. Maria Mourani is far more courageous than the petty beancounters of the Liberal Party, the NDP, or certainly the Bloc.

Brava Maria!

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist wrote:

Anyway, this xenophobic onslaught by the PQ - and the resistance to it, including from prominent sovereignists - is far more important than the obsession of some individuals as to whether Justin Trudeau or Tom Mulcair can add another voting robot to their respective caucuses. Maria Mourani is far more courageous than the petty beancounters of the Liberal Party, the NDP, or certainly the Bloc.

Brava Maria!

Well said.

Stockholm

Caissa wrote:

You ignored my "swear allegiance to" I doubt every NDP MP has had to do that. Given its place in the polls the NDP would be crazy not to add another member to thir caucus if they have the chance. They could instead lose the opportunity to Trudeau fils.

I never said she had to publicly swear an oath - but if she was to go from being an MP in a party whose seule raison d'etre is Quebec independence to being an MP in a party that 100% unswervingly federalist - she would be asked questions at the news conference and the only acceptable answer would be - "recent events have led me to reevaluate my views on the place of Quebec in Canada. I now accept the NDP position that Quebec should remain part of Canada".

lagatta

Stock would like to adopt Bertholt Brecht's quip about the DDR electing another people...

Most Québécois progressives have sovereignist sympathies, at least to some extent. What he is proposing would kill the NDP caucus, and be the best possible gift to some successor of the Bloc.

Many of us were sick of the Bloc talking about "Québec issues" when the issues were not restricted to Québec, and thought it necessary to fight Harper's assault on us above everything else. Duceppe was raising an idiotic issue about federal subsidies to hydroelectric projects in New-Brunswick, when it was obvious that the Harperites were attacking all of Atlantic Canada, including eastern Québec.

However, I don't think the Bloc was a single-issue party. It had done a lot to support unemployed workers, and other progressive policies. Many of its original MPs had a background in the labour movement, including Gilles Duceppe and Osvaldo Nuñez.

Unionist

I'm begging everyone to end this thread drift, in which I myself briefly participated. All we need is to react to Québec-bashing at a time when a hugely important discussion is taking place in our nation.

Pauline Marois and Bernard Drainville had asked for "respectful discussion" of their broad-brush Charter proposals - and Daniel Paillé dumped Mourani for expressing her view. I sincerely, severely doubt that the idiot Paillé ran this by Marois first. If he did, then they're both stupider than I already thought they were.

Philippe Couillard (head of the Liberal party) said the other day that they were betraying the legacy of René Lévesque. It was the Quiet Revolution that moved the frame from ethno-religious nationalism to inclusive civic nationalism. But of course that shift was never uniform and universal. Now, the petty little electoralists of the PQ are desperately fishing around for a wedge to regain majority government at all costs. Like their colleagues in the other parties, they don't give a damn how much damage they do to Québec in the process.

 

mark_alfred

Caissa wrote:
Since when did NDP MP's have to swear allegiance to any creed let alone federalism?

NDP MPs need to be members of the party, and there is the basic requirement from the constitution that a member be someone "who undertakes to accept and abide by the constitution and principles of the Party and who is not a member or supporter of any other political party."  The principals of the party include giving final say to the Convention (and not an individual MP) for party policy.

Quote:
5. Authority of Conventions Conventions are the supreme governing body of the Party and shall have final authority in all matters of federal policy, program and constitution.

Currently, policy for the NDP is an allegiance to federalism, with the goal of having Quebec sign the Canadian Constitution and affirming its place within the federation of Canada.

Quote:
New Democrats believe in: a Governing in accord with cooperative federalism.

Expanding on this, they also describe asymmetrical federalism:

Quote:
For New Democrats, cooperative federalism is also asymmetrical federalism; recognizing and encouraging Quebec’s unique national character in North America, with French as the language of daily life and work. Our federalism supports Quebec’s right to its own progressive economic and social practices, and to the development of its own sense of nationhood.

[..]

There are many ways of being a Canadian. By strengthening political democracy and strength-ening Canadian federalism, a New Democrat government will strengthen the bonds that pull our diverse populace and unique communities together into one truly democratic federation, a model that would serve as an inspiration and a worthy example around the globe.

My interpretation of this is that an MP of the NDP would not be allowed to advocate for separation of Quebec from the federation.  Quite the opposite. 

Quote:
New Democrats believe in creating the conditions enabling Quebec to sign the Canadian Constitution.

Stockholm

lagatta wrote:

However, I don't think the Bloc was a single-issue party. It had done a lot to support unemployed workers, and other progressive policies. Many of its original MPs had a background in the labour movement, including Gilles Duceppe and Osvaldo Nuñez.

That was then and this is now. The BQ is now led by Daniel Paille who is a rightwing business tycoon - and they seem to have renounced their past. I wonder what Gilles Duceppe thinks of all this. I predict the BQ will lose all its remaining seats in 2015 and go the way of Social Credit.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I had the unfortunate privilege last year of watching the House of Commons "debate" last year from the press gallery. It was mostly a travesty of parliamentary democracy, with no single individual distinguishing themselves from this horrorshow...

...with the exception of Alexandre Boulerice, who was asked for the umpteenth time by careerist scumbag Pierre Pollievre to declare his love for Canada since he donated thirteen times ("thirteen times! thirteen times!") to the "separatist" Québec Solidaire. Boulerice ignored this pathetic line of attack while trying to talk about something important. But then he lost his patience and declared:

"Yes, I love Canada. I love Quebec and I love Montreal. But most of all I love the people which is why I'm dedicated to protecting them from conservatives like you!"

I guess Stockholm hopes that the NDP execs are all made up of Pierre Pollievres. Would that Mourani answers them as Boulerice answered Pierre.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

I thought the Bloc had already come out against the charter.  Or that they had concerns or something. 

Did I get that wrong?

6079_Smith_W

Stockholm wrote:

 "recent events have led me to reevaluate my views on the place of Quebec in Canada. I now accept the NDP position that Quebec should remain part of Canada".

Why, if that is not what she believes?

Do you think anti-choice Conservatives are obliged to quit Harper's caucus? How do you think Lucien Bouchard felt about sovereignty when he was a member of Bryan Mulroney's cabinet? If there is a rule and enforcement about that sort of stuff I'm not aware of it.

Unionist is right. This is ridiculous. It has nothing to do with the NDP, and anyone who expects they should capitalize on this is being as callous as those who draughted the proposed law in the first place.

 

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