PQ's charter of values

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autoworker autoworker's picture

I'm glad to see that the ONDP is onboard with this affirmation of human rights.

Unionist

Summer wrote:

The Ontario government has passed a unanimous motion promising not to restrict people from publicly expressing their religious beliefs.   Source.   The government is going out of its way to distinguish its position from that of the Quebec government.    Finally something our minority government can agree on!

 This is not the same situation as the 1970s.  There is a huge difference between protecting French language rights and interfering with religious rights.  (and I say this as an atheist.)

 

How wonderful of them!!

Too bad there's not one single party in the Ontario legislature that says the Catholic Church should lose its privileged control over public schools.

In Québec, all political parties were unanimous on that question, and in 1998 we got it done.

Maybe we should pass a unanimous resolution here telling Ontario the meaning of non-discrimination based on religion?

Oh, but that's so different, isn't it?

 

lagatta

Indeed. And don't some of those Catholic schools take their pupils to anti-abortion rallies?

DaveW

preaching from Ontario ... uggh; disregard

I wrote a strong letter, not published, to the Globe about their "baritone sermonizing from on high", esp. pertient given the big pro-charter numbers in their reader comments ...

never take for granted that the English Canadian core electorate is gung-ho for multiculturalism...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Although I am glad BC did not get saddled with those clauses of the BNA Act when it joined Confederation we seem to have gone to a different but just as troubling place. We subsidize private schools of all types with public money.  Catholic schools are treated the same as rich kids prep schools and Sikh schools and fundie Xian schools etc.

I hate it because I think only public schools should recieve public money.  However so far no party in BC will take on that issue.

lagatta

I agree, kropotkin. We have succeeded in eliminating confessional boards here in Québec, but there is a shameful level of funding for private schools; both those that exist to keep out the riff-raff and "problem kids" and the ones that teach religious misogyny and homophobia.

I think only Québec solidaire is against such funding here.

DaveW

Yes, confessional school boards had to go.

But you have a very pinched view of private schooling; I attended only public schools and am very pro such education; but the rights to publicly funded and also implicitly (3) to private schooling is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 26.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be
    free, at least in   the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary
    education shall be compulsory.   Technical and professional education
    shall be made generally available and   higher education shall be
    equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
  •      

  •  [...]
  •      

  • (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be   given to their children.
    Private schooling  serves various purposes, cultural and religious -- yes OK, you don't like --, but also for varying educational systems and styles; think Montessori

our son was miserable in a local public school, failing completely, but blossomed when we were forced to send him elsewhere .... that flexibility is a good thing to have;

 subsidies should be widely available in addition to the core  public education

and if you think voters would approve abolishing that, go ahead and try Surprised but nothing riles middle voters more, cf France

 

6079_Smith_W

Yes, I think the private school issue is a thorny one. Thing is, I can see why some people might want to have separate schools - after all, the situation we are in now was born out of a climate of anti-French, anti-Catholic discrimination. And while things are not as they were 120 years ago, there are similar elements today.

The fact that the Catholic system gets special treatment in some jurisdictions while others - other faiths or even Montessori - do not, the fact they get to cherry pick, and that they get higher per capita provincial funding than the public system is a problem.

I know they aren't going to be shut down tomorrow, and as I mentioned upthread, the Catholic system here offers programs that are unique and valuable. But if they are going to take provincial funding out of general revenue they should allow students to not take part in their religious stuff, and they should cut out this nonsense about denying the connection between bullying and homophobia, and disallowing gay-straight alliances (even their pope has said as much).

But I do think it is fair - at least as long as things are as they are now - that a person should be able to divert at least part of their school taxes if they want to take part in a separate system.

Oh, and just in case anyone still thinks this only happens in Quebec, here's another case of some guy thinking he knows what's best for others:

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/life/Pipe+ceremony+moon+time+rule+stirs+de...

DaveW

anyway, I helped deviate this thread from Charter stuff -- honestly, is that not losing some steam? -- to private education, another thread, really

Different take:

ONT should mind its own business, I think. Let Quebec voters defeat /dilute /water down throughly /reject this proposal. They did that very successfully with Bill 14 last spring.

It is a thorough-going democracy and can work through complex issues.

 

Unionist

[url=http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/politique/politique-quebecoise/201309/...çoise David of Québec Solidaire denounces the recent appointments to the Council on the Status of Women[/url]

The Minister (Agnès Maltais) appointed four women who all favour the PQ's Charter.

Françoise David wrote:
"It's worthy of the manoeuvres of the Harper Conservatives, who don't tolerate any dissenting opinion and will do anything to achieve their aims. Why does the government want to stop the Council from conducting studies on the impact the PQ charter would have on women from religious minorities?"

[my translation]

6079_Smith_W

Summer wrote:

I didn’t grow up in Ontario and am always surprised when I meet intelligent, generally progressive,  non-religious (!) people who adamantly defend Ontario’s public Catholic system.  It’s ridiculous. 

That would be me (here in SK), though I do it in a very guarded way, and it is pretty specific to the First Nations culture and French language programming. I have friends more progressive than me who sent their kids there for the fine arts program (and eventually stopped over the icky religious stuff).So people do all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons.

When the public system steps up to a degree that people's energy goes there, I am sure my position will change, because I am generally suspicious of religious-run schools. But with things as they are I have to concede that it is productive force and I support it - both in the sense that I have to admit it is doing something no one else is doing, and in conceding that people have the right to choose for themselves to a certain degree.

Besides, I think it is good thing  see a pow wow on the school front lawn, right in the middle of our neighbourhood, butt up against the most fashionable business strip in town where everybody gets to see how great it is. Hearing that drum ring all over the place makes me almost forget that it is part of the Roman Catholic School Program.

 

WyldRage

Unionist wrote:

[url=http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/politique/politique-quebecoise/201309/...çoise David of Québec Solidaire denounces the recent appointments to the Council on the Status of Women[/url]

The Minister (Agnès Maltais) appointed four women who all favour the PQ's Charter.

Françoise David wrote:
"It's worthy of the manoeuvres of the Harper Conservatives, who don't tolerate any dissenting opinion and will do anything to achieve their aims. Why does the government want to stop the Council from conducting studies on the impact the PQ charter would have on women from religious minorities?"

[my translation]

The CSF made two proposition for secularization very similar to what the Charter proposes back in 2008 and 2011. JMD was placed there by the Liberals following that second proposition, and they now go back on their historic position? If all the old members of the CSF were backing her up, I'd be much more attentive to what she's saying, but for now it seems to me that if there's political interference, it is far more likely to be on the Liberal's side.

Another article that analyze the issue: http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/societe/2013/09/20/001-miville-dechene-sortie-fracassante.shtml

 

Bärlüer

The CSF's prior president, Christine Pelchat, supported the symbol ban, and she was also nominated by the liberals (and former liberal MNA).

There is absolutely no doubt that the PQ intended to "pack" the CSF with four new supporters of its Charter -- the four women it has just nominated were all well-known proponents/supporters of this position.

DaveW

Unionist wrote:

[url=http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/politique/politique-quebecoise/201309/...çoise David of Québec Solidaire denounces the recent appointments to the Council on the Status of Women[/url]

The Minister (Agnès Maltais) appointed four women who all favour the PQ's Charter.

Françoise David wrote:
"It's worthy of the manoeuvres of the Harper Conservatives, who don't tolerate any dissenting opinion and will do anything to achieve their aims. Why does the government want to stop the Council from conducting studies on the impact the PQ charter would have on women from religious minorities?"

[my translation]

hands up everyone here who /supported the PQ ... the Marois bunch never looked honest, they were willing to ride any horse that would carry them there ...

 luckily, karma enters into this and I see a good chance they will be out at next poll

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I really wish more attention was being paid to that totally inane poster showing what was to be considered ostentatious (and therefore banned) religious symbolism and attire, and non-ostentatious (and therefore permissible). I get this image of teams of bureaucrats with callipers being sent out to measure the height of a cross on a chain or the diameter of a tilaka (and if tilakas are banned, are bindis okay?). Are sikha considered ostentatious? How about braids? If a believer eschews the use of buttons as a symbol of militarism and "dresses plainly", are they threatening the secular nature of a society? If the proponents of this enforced secularism had made the ban comprehensive and exhaustive I might be able to find a modicum of sympathy for what they are trying. Despite my image of myself as a pretty hard-core atheist, I wouldn't be supportive, but I could at least grant they were being intellectually honest. As it is, the little visual aid they trotted out when unveiling their proposal has left me convinced that they deserve all the contempt that is being dumped on them, if not more. I think the best response to the proposal, as presented, is ridicule.

6079_Smith_W

DaveW wrote:

I see a good chance they will be out at next poll

Well if this is morphing into a discussion on general politics look at the leader who Marois replaced, and who lost his own seat.

I doubt the PQ will rise and fall on this issue alone.

 

lagatta

Yes, in light of the Charbonneau commission, and the Charest government's overreaction to the student movement, repressing a lot of peaceful actions, one scarcely wants that gang back.

Don't think we've had a lot of "plain dressing" Mennonites and others. The most visible religous minorities by far around here are the Hassidic Jews, and Muslim women wearing hijab. I also see some Sikhs over in Parc-Extension.

The scariest fundies in my neigbhourhood at least are the Fraternité Pie X, a far-right ultra-Catholic sect once expelled from the Church, but I believe Benny the Rat let them back in, despite their vile collaborationist past. They just dress like an oddly prudish variety of Québecois, or people from several decades back. Top button always closed, but then, hipsters do that too, and also wear little trilby hats.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

lagatta... any sightings of the Raelians in their pink and fuchsia ensembles? I used to get a kick out of seeing them scurryiing around when I would head north along Parc to get souvlaki at Arahova... (of course that was a long time ago).

Unionist

Did you grab some bagels at St-Viateur across the street?

Anyway, back to the charter...

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

No, I always preferred Fairmont to St-Viateur.

DaveW

no, this issue was meant to save the PQ, but it will fall on the ensemble of issues -- economic and other -- that it has not been able to obscure ...

as late as June Marois PQ still ranked as the most unpopular first-term government ever; the summer brought a rebound (Marois was very visible at Lac Mégantic), but there is less momentum in fall

PQ's average polling number remains about 31 per cent support -- impossible to form a majority, a challenge to get another minority government

defeat in a snap election very possible, Charter or no

 

6079_Smith_W

lagatta wrote:

The scariest fundies in my neigbhourhood at least are the Fraternité Pie X, a far-right ultra-Catholic sect once expelled from the Church, but I believe Benny the Rat let them back in, despite their vile collaborationist past.

If they're like the Lefebvreists , or Opus Dei, I guess there's no problem. After all, those thigh spikes are completely allowable and and normal, so long as no one can see them, right?

 

 

Summer

Unionist wrote:

Summer wrote:

The Ontario government has passed a unanimous motion promising not to restrict people from publicly expressing their religious beliefs.   Source.   The government is going out of its way to distinguish its position from that of the Quebec government.    Finally something our minority government can agree on!

 This is not the same situation as the 1970s.  There is a huge difference between protecting French language rights and interfering with religious rights.  (and I say this as an atheist.)

 

How wonderful of them!!

Too bad there's not one single party in the Ontario legislature that says the Catholic Church should lose its privileged control over public schools.

In Québec, all political parties were unanimous on that question, and in 1998 we got it done.

Maybe we should pass a unanimous resolution here telling Ontario the meaning of non-discrimination based on religion?

Oh, but that's so different, isn't it?

I agree entirely with your first sentence. [edit, oops, I actually meant your second sentence.  But taking your first sentence at face value, I agree with that one too)

I am disappointed that none of the main Ontario parties will raise the issue of scrapping funding for Catholic schools.  I was quite surprised at the level of xenophobia towards John Tory’s proposed plan to extend public funding to religious schools.  At least his proposal would have treated all religions equally.  I conclude that the the McGuinty government was much better than the Marois government at stoking the flames of xenophobic hysteria and manipulating voters to its advantage.

I didn’t grow up in Ontario and am always surprised when I meet intelligent, generally progressive,  non-religious (!) people who adamantly defend Ontario’s public Catholic system.  It’s ridiculous.  Ontarians are very adverse to change and are also likely to accept things as they are because “it’s tradition”.  I think Quebecers are more dynamic.

With respect to the remaining sentences in your post, I think the government is completely above board when it passes a motion affirming a specific right.  It’s in the news right now and sadly a lot of Ontarians are supportive of the motion.  One provincial government does not need to remain silent when another province is floating xenophobic trial balloons.  No deference or respect is owed in such cases.  If Quebec wants to start passing motions aimed at Ontario, it can go nuts.  In fact, I bet Marois would like that idea.  Maybe that technique will be more successful at rallying voters to the PQ.  

 

lagatta

Evidently they still exist but I haven't seen any in recent years.

As for the Charter, there is a time when I would have approved of it too. Lots of us wanted freedom from religion. The problem for leftist secularists came when we saw "conspicuous" Muslims insulted and worse after 9-11. Which also reminded me of seeing some yahoos in a car shouting "Jew!" and deliberately almost hitting a Hassidic man.

Now, I have no use whatsoever for the Hassidim with their gross misogyny and disinterest in the great intellectual traditions of Judaity*, but I hate anti-semites a lot more, and the Islamophobes were the same kind of racist yahoos.

*This is a term far more common in French: it means "the fact of being Jewish", or "Jewishness", rather than the religion per se. http://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/juda%C3%AFt%C3%A9 

Here is a rabble golden oldie by the way: http://archive.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=002466

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist wrote:

Yes. But Svend had courageously opposed the addition of "God" to the constitution in the first place. Anyway, here's what I posted on babble many years ago in another context:

Unionist, on February 13, 2006 wrote:

I sent Svend a supportive email at the time. Please indulge the following quotes from his lengthy response (I think they're still on topic) dated June 28, 1999:

Svend Robinson wrote:

I am writing to thank you for taking the time to communicate your words of support following my tabling of a petition on June 8 last on the subject of the reference to God in the preamble to the Constitution of Canada. It meant a lot to me, especially after your earlier zinger on Kosovo!

There are two fundamental principles at stake here, I believe. The first is the issue of freedom of speech. [...]

On the substantive question, as a member of the Special Committee on the Constitution in 1980-81, I spoke out against the proposed preambular reference to God. My federal caucus colleagues at that time, and today, took a different position, even though there is no party policy on the issue. I believed then, and continue to believe, that the constitution should reflect the full diversity of our society, a secular society, with people of many different religious faiths and other people, including humanists, of no religious belief. [...]

I am pleased that my tabling of this petition has led to a national debate and discussion on the issue of separation of church and state. Unfortunately, too much of this debate has been characterized by distortion and misrepresentation of my position. I particularly regret, of course, the response of my leader and some caucus colleagues in these circumstances. I should make it clear that, despite media reports to the contrary, at no time did I "apologize" to anybody for my actions in presenting this petition. I was pleased that Alexa McDonough made it clear during the recent B.C. New Democrat convention that we are putting this "family feud" behind us, and moving on to deal with other serious issues that confront our country and our globe. In doing so, I trust that we will be guided by the words of our federal NDP mission statement adopted in 1993: "We pledge ourselves to working with those the world over who seek to build a global society respectful of human rights and cultural diversity: a society in which every world citizen shares sustainable prosperity, democracy, equality, and peace."

I was going to respond on the other thread but I thought that this thread was a better place to talk about seclarism. I supported Svend at the time and as an athest I felt he spoke for me in his oppostion to god's inclusion in the constitution. Bill Siksay who followed Svend as our MP on the other hand was a devout Xian who was a Charter member of the faith group on the Hill. One of Bill's excellent support team always wore a head scarf in the office.

I actually have no problem reconciling all three of these things.

Unionist

None of the English-language media has got this right yet - the headlines are uniformly wrong. So I'll write my own:

[url=http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Topless+protest+against+identity+politi... Québec activists bare breasts in National Assembly gallery to demand that the crucifix be removed[/url]

They weren't protesting against the PQ's "identity politics". They weren't protesting against the charter of values as such (they say they don't have a position on it yet). And all parties except Québec solidaire want the crucifix to remain.

Oh well.

ETA:

It's the statue of Maurice Duplessis outside the National Assembly (he's the one who installed the crucifix in 1936). The sign reads: "I'm dead, but my crucifix is replacing me!"

DaveW

just for info: it was the PQ  of Rene Levesque that pulled that Duplessis statue out of storage in the 1970s, and RL said sheepishly, with his usual shrug, that you cannot / should not hide from your past....

voice of the damned

DaveW wrote:

just for info: it was the PQ  of Rene Levesque that pulled that Duplessis statue out of storage in the 1970s, and RL said sheepishly, with his usual shrug, that you cannot / should not hide from your past....

Levesque's autobiography includes an extended and passionate denunication of Duplessis, followed by the story about taking the statue from storage.

From what I remember, his rationale in the book is even flimsier than the "history" one. I think he just essentially says "Well, it was there, we had to do something with it, so what the hey." I think the more accepted explanation is that it was an appeal to conservative voters with an eye to the upcoming referendum.   

He ends the passage with an anecdote about the unveiling, and elderly people coming up and thanking him for honouring Duplessis' memory. He says that, for the first time ever, he finally had an idea about what Duplessis meant to many people from that generation.

 

Unionist

[url=http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/Politique/2013/10/03/001-jacques-pa... Parizeau: Québec Charter of Values "goes too far"[/url]

Essentially, he says:

1. The issue of wearing ostentatious religious symbols should be resolved as per the Bouchard-Taylor Commission - i.e., should apply only to judges, cops, crown prosecutors, prison guards. And no covering one's face while delivering or receiving public services. [As I have mentioned before, the foregoing reflects an all-party consensus.]

2. Get the crucifix out of the National Assembly.

Parizeau was clever enough to observe that 75% of Quebecers answer "no" when asked whether women should lose their jobs if they refuse to remove articles they wear for religious reasons.

Parizeau clearly understands the now virtually open secret - namely, that this is primarily a ploy to capture back enough CAQ seats to snag a majority - but he has also been around long enough to worry about long-term pain.

I think he's concerned that what helps win a majority may also help lose a future referendum.

ETA: Ok, found [url=http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2013/10/02/assouplissements-necessaires...'s full text[/url], not behind a paywall.

 

lagatta

Little as I like the PQ or Marois, I'm certainly not looking forward to a win for the Fiberals, passing from La Charte des valeurs to La Charte des voleurs...

DaveW

The Man in person:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/jacques-parizeau-former-pq-premier-slams-charter-of-values-1.1893919

Parizeau writes that the separation of church and state in Quebec has long since been established, thanks to the Quiet Revolution in the 1960s.

He accuses the Quebec government of reacting to a growing fear of Islam and its spread. 

"For the most part, the only contact that most Quebecers have with the world of Islam is through these images of violence, repeated over and over: wars, riots, bombs, the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Boston marathon ... The reaction is obvious: We'll have none of that here!" he writes in Le Journal.

Parizeau says that kind of approach solves nothing.

Instead, he suggests that the PQ limit its proposed charter to an affirmation of the separation between church and state. 

As for the controversy over the wearing of religious symbols, Parizeau writes that the ban should only apply to police, prosecutors, judges and anyone in a position of authority.

"I wouldn't go any further than that for the time being."

DaveW

As mentioned frequently, Marois is just not a good political strategist:

she launches Bill 14, with lots of vested constituencies against it (ie military families in a CAQ riding) as a sop to language hawks, and comes away with ... nothing;

She shrugs and moves on.

launches the (draft) Charter under guidance of M. de Lisée, and they have managed to alienate several key PQ constituencies, including artists and intellectuals and urban progressives, now very divided (no Montreal op-ed page is anywhere near solidly pro Charter and surprisingly Peladeau flagship Le Journal de Montréal is quite skeptical) -- and now even former PQ chiefs  and nationalist leaders!

I said it from the start: the PQ will come away with virtually nothing beyond a reiteration of some key Bouchard-Taylor principles and a pro forma reaffirmation of the neutrality of the State

politically, the CAQ will survive in some form, perhaps as a key spoiler; Quebec voters have favoured a three-party system for  2 decades now;

oh yeah, and the PQ lose the election in December to the Liberals;

franchement, Mme Marois.... pas très impressionnant tout ca Yell

as an epilogue, she is certainly the least impressive PQ leader, in a line of leaders that slopes downward from René Lévesque over the decades, and is now centimetres away from being a flatly bad Premier, certainly playing her weak hand poorly

 

 

Brachina

 Marios response appears to be to double down, there is talk she will remove the opt out clause for various insttutions, becauss so many want to opt out. This is a snow balling disaster for the PQ and Paille in his infinate stupidity allowed the bloc to become enbroiled in this.

 

Anyone surprised no one is rushing to be the bloc's nominee in the up coming byelection?

 My prediction is Marios will make it worse. She will lose the next election and the provincial liberals will win a majority, and the NDP will create a Quebec provincial wing.

Unionist

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist I guess he is okay but the head scarf probably makes this seer unacceptable.

I was going to post an image but unfortunately that function is not available to me as I type this.

lagatta

Horrors - the last thing we need is a Québec NDP wing... Don't we have enough infighting on the left as it is?

DaveW

good point, the white whale of an effective provincial NDP will never be found, Left and sovereignist positions are conflated  in Quebec to a great degree, no wiggle room remains;

anyway, the hilarious intervention by Parizeau on the draft charter dominates the news: 3 weeks to the day after the launch of the charter dominated the very same front pages... pfffffft, it goes, deflating by the day

the Journal headline saying that the Charter "Va Trop Loin" was directly targeted at the PQ's core electorate, as the Globe and other commentators note:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/editorials/parizeau-takes-his-...

Mr. Parizeau correctly observes that state neutrality in Quebec has already been achieved, without social tension.

He chose to make his comments in a column carried widely in mass-market tabloids – and amplified them on radio and television – which suggests a thought-out strategy to destabilize the minority government.

[...]

[JP] could be dismissed as someone who bolted for a rival sovereigntist party, Option nationale, after his wife, Lisette Lapointe, quit the PQ caucus in 2011. But he may also be providing political cover for a climb-down; the government has known for several days that he was about to weigh in.

Mr. Parizeau said he would be willing to support a ban on religious headgear for judges, police officers and prison guards, as recommended by the Bouchard-Taylor commission in 2009. That would be a much easier sell for the minority PQ.

With speculation mounting that Ms. Marois is considering going to the polls in early December, the fallout from Mr. Parizeau’s latest intervention over the next few days will be revealing.

in La Presse, this one disagrees:

http://www.lapresse.ca/debats/chroniques/marie-claude-lortie/201310/04/0...

C'est le foulard et le retour en arrière, l'antimodernisme, le recul par rapport aux acquis de la Révolution tranquille, de la révolution féministe et de la révolution sexuelle qu'il exprime et représente - à tort, diront certains; de façon flagrante, diront d'autres - qui dérange la société québécoise.

Ça et le fait que des parents demandent aux médecins des certificats de virginité, ça et l'affaire Shafia, ça et toute demande du type «rendre opaques les vitres du Y pour qu'on ne voie pas de femmes en petite tenue» ou «plages horaires de piscine différentes pour les hommes et les femmes», ça et les hommes qui ne veulent pas que des hommes enseignent à leur femme...

Bref, même si d'autres demandes d'accommodements religieux existent, notamment pour les congés, le noeud de la discussion, au Québec, aujourd'hui, en 2013, c'est la crainte que des religieux orthodoxes ne fassent reculer le Québec.

Et ça, Jacques Parizeau n'en parle pas vraiment.

 

Unionist

Marie-Claude Lortie is an offensive idiot.

Having said that, the show goes on:

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/former-pq-premier-bouchard-... PQ premier Bouchard joins growing chorus against Quebec charter[/url]

But I really loved this headline... who would ever have foreseen any story entitled:

[url=http://www.cjad.com/CJADLocalNews/entry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10598323]Bouchard agrees with Parizeau[/url]

 

DaveW

and M-C Lortie represents a significant part of  Quebec opinion /electorate, the one Marois was/is courting

Unionist

DaveW wrote:

and M-C Lortie represents a significant part of  Quebec opinion /electorate, the one Marois was/is courting

Indeed. But there's a difference between being an ordinary person having some backward opinions, and being a shameless propagandist for xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism...

I'm a trade unionist (duh). My fellow workers - just like my neighbours - run the gamut of sexism and racism and homophobia and anti-semitism and every sin imaginable. But we all put that shit aside and get together in union meetings, on the shop floor, in the lunchroom, and elsewhere, in looking for common interests to share and defend. Their consciousness and attitudes change along the way... sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, sometimes grudgingly and kicking and screaming...

Likewise with what you call "a significant part of Quebec opinion/electorate". I can't really agree with that frame. People's attitudes are fluid, dynamic. And even if someone tells you: "I'm really worried about all these immigrants coming here and telling us how to live and how we have to change our values..." - that doesn't mean this is what characterizes their lives, their attitudes, or how they vote. They may have voted NDP in 2011. They may have voted Québec solidaire last year (depending where they live of course). They may be activists in their community, their workplace...

So - what people like this creepy Lortie and Marois and Mario Dumont and others try to do is to entrench and emphasize and exaggerate those backward attitudes, and turn them into primary drivers in political life. Sorry to draw the comparison, but that's what Hitler did, in another historical context. Suddenly, all Germans were Nazis. A few years later... none of them were. How does that work?

I know you realize all this, but it needs to be said. Xenophobia is universal - Québec, Canada, all of humanity. It's how we manage and control and combat it that matters. And that's the end of my gratuitous rant for now. I'm mostly talking to myself and trying to come to terms with these contradictions.

 

Brachina

Unionist wrote:

DaveW wrote:

and M-C Lortie represents a significant part of  Quebec opinion /electorate, the one Marois was/is courting

Indeed. But there's a difference between being an ordinary person having some backward opinions, and being a shameless propagandist for xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism...

I'm a trade unionist (duh). My fellow workers - just like my neighbours - run the gamut of sexism and racism and homophobia and anti-semitism and every sin imaginable. But we all put that shit aside and get together in union meetings, on the shop floor, in the lunchroom, and elsewhere, in looking for common interests to share and defend. Their consciousness and attitudes change along the way... sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, sometimes grudgingly and kicking and screaming...

Likewise with what you call "a significant part of Quebec opinion/electorate". I can't really agree with that frame. People's attitudes are fluid, dynamic. And even if someone tells you: "I'm really worried about all these immigrants coming here and telling us how to live and how we have to change our values..." - that doesn't mean this is what characterizes their lives, their attitudes, or how they vote. They may have voted NDP in 2011. They may have voted Québec solidaire last year (depending where they live of course). They may be activists in their community, their workplace...

So - what people like this creepy Lortie and Marois and Mario Dumont and others try to do is to entrench and emphasize and exaggerate those backward attitudes, and turn them into primary drivers in political life. Sorry to draw the comparison, but that's what Hitler did, in another historical context. Suddenly, all Germans were Nazis. A few years later... none of them were. How does that work?

I know you realize all this, but it needs to be said. Xenophobia is universal - Québec, Canada, all of humanity. It's how we manage and control and combat it that matters. And that's the end of my gratuitous rant for now. I'm mostly talking to myself and trying to come to terms with these contradictions.

 

+1

This is the most insightful thing I've heard on these boards in a long time.

Unionist

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Qu%C3%A9bec+solidaire+charter+propos...ébec solidaire presents its charter proposal[/url]

Quote:

Québec solidaire, the fourth party in the National Assembly, presented its proposed Charter of Québec State Secularism Wednesday, calling on the Parti Québécois government to accept its position as a compromise and end the divisive debate sparked by the PQ’s proposed Charter of Quebec Values.

Bill 398 was adopted without opposition on first reading, but since the PQ government controls the agenda and Democratic Institutions Minister Bernard Drainville was quick to condemn the Québec solidaire proposal as “too minimalist,” Bill 398 stands no chance of proceeding to the required second and third readings to become law. [...]

Québec solidaire’s proposal would only ban the wearing of visible religious signs by judges, prosecutors, police officers, prison guards and others who exercise coercion on behalf of the state. All other public sector employees would be free to display religious signs.

Suggesting the aim of the PQ charter was to divert attention from other issues, Québec solidaire’s Amir Khadir told reporters, “We are going to forget for a few moments rumours of a general election in Quebec, the increase in hydro rates for Quebec households and also former Liberal ministers who swear they were not aware of the illegal financing of their party.”

Co-spokesperson Françoise David said this is a compromise position for her party, because it does not include Quebec solidaire’s call for an end public funding for private schools and support for churches.

“It is time for a bill that brings people together,” David said, adding that her party presented its bill because the values debate “is hurting people and is hurting all of Quebec.”

The bill would amend Quebec’s human rights charter, inserting “by the secular state” in the preamble, so it would read, “Whereas respect for the dignity of human beings, equality of women and men, and recognition by the secular state of their rights and freedoms constitute the foundation of justice, liberty and peace.”

And to Section 3 of the human rights charter, which now states, “Every person is the possessor of the fundamental freedoms, including freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association,” would be added: “State secularism safeguards fundamental freedoms. The secular nature of the state entails that the state cannot favour or disfavour any religion, religious practice or particular belief.”

The Québec solidaire position is identical to that proposed by former PQ premier Jacques Parizeau, with the support of his sometime rival Lucien Bouchard.

David, who has differed with Parizeau in the past, said Parizeau is saying what he thinks. “So I thank him.”

 

Brachina

 This is not a situtation that calls for compromise, the bill should be removed, QS' verison is the same, but with only 50% the bigatry of the PQs. If its not okay to treat Muslim Daycare workers this way, its not okay to treat Muslim Police officers this way either, Its still barring people from fairly particating in society and violating thier freedom of expression and religion.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Over 20 years ago the RCMP allowed Sikh members to wear a turban. I found this interview with the first person to wear one in the RCMP to be very insightful.

Quote:

How do people react to you now?

Earlier, someone from the crowd would always make a comment. People would also come up to me and congratulate me. But I notice the change now. I hardly see anyone say anything negative. There's lot of support with regard to the success and what we have been able to achieve for our community and the RCMP.

My sense is 20 years ago, members of the visible minority within Canada were tolerated, the same way you tolerate pain. It was not positive, but it was better than the earlier times when we didn't even have voting rights. We were becoming visible. I think from visible we have begun to move towards acceptance. We are no longer being tolerated, but accepted without any reservations.

I am now heading the provincial intelligence center and that's a priority in British Columbia. I have been given this because of my experience. But many years ago, even if I had the ability I would still not get the job. Today, while I am with other RCMP officers, nobody notices my turban.

Has acceptance reached the stage where you are just another Canadian making same kind of a contribution?

We are getting there, but it would be dangerous for us to let our guard down. Now, the fear has transferred from the minority member who lived in fear of his safety, the fear of not getting a job because of his color to the majority who are constantly on guard to ensure that they don't say anything wrong, don't behave in a way that can be construed as discrimination. I think we are now at a very precarious point. Earlier, you could deal with it because it was there in the open. Now, it is lying in a very murky, shadowy area and those people (racists) still exist.

You are saying there's still racism in the country?

Yes. But it is not easily recognizable because it is hidden under layers and they are very careful with words.

http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/may/12/baltej-dhillon-rcmp-on-20-year...

lagatta

Brachina, we are calling for a charter on Secularism, not "Québec values". Not everyone who think people who have the right to arrest should bear no religious symbols of any kind are racists. And of course we have to start by taking down the damned crucifix.

Have you read the QS Charter proposal? http://www.quebecsolidaire.net/quebec-solidaire-propose-une-charte-de-la...

And this? http://www.quebecsolidaire.net/evenements/rassemblement-souverainiste-po...

Unionist

Lagatta, there is no way we have to justify this to non-Quebecers. You and I and countless others are opposing the PQ's attempt to further marginalize (especially) Muslim women who wear hijabs. Brachina isn't even aware that the Supreme Court of Canada said you can't work in a railway yard if you insist on wearing a turban. Nor have I heard a single word about abolishing state funding of (some) religions in Canada. We'll wage our battle, and win, without getting caught in diversions.

 

pookie

Unionist wrote:

Lagatta, there is no way we have to justify this to non-Quebecers. You and I and countless others are opposing the PQ's attempt to further marginalize (especially) Muslim women who wear hijabs. Brachina isn't even aware that the Supreme Court of Canada said you can't work in a railway yard if you insist on wearing a turban. Nor have I heard a single word about abolishing state funding of (some) religions in Canada. We'll wage our battle, and win, without getting caught in diversions.

 

It would be nice if people didn't take criticism of these kinds of laws from (gasp!) non-Quebecers as an attack on the province writ large, or its people.

It is not anti-Quebec to observe that requiring a police officer to remove his turban as a condition of employment is beyond any form of reasonable limit on religious freedom.  Nor is it a state choice that is mpliedly protected by the Bhinder decision (which, by the way, was a human rights case that does not even mention the Charter).

Unionist

You missed my point entirely, pookie - which was not at all to argue in favour of restrictions on what cops, judges, prison guards may wear (I do not argue in favour of that) - but rather, that people from elsewhere (in this case, not from the nation of Québec) criticize things they know very little about (such as all the other aspects of QS's bill, the ones which don't deal with wearing religious symbols at all) - and that they tolerate, and in fact are blissfully ignorant of, restrictions on freedom of conscience that exist under their very noses, while finding it all too simple to condemn such infringements elsewhere.

6079_Smith_W

Yeah, I am blissfully ignorant that this happened this just happened, and obviously I think it is just fine.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/911-call-leads-to-anti-french...

Oh, and this:

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Saskatchewan/ID/2409512635/?s...

Do you want a few more completely off-topic examples that some of us are aware that Quebec is not the only place wrestling with racism and discrimination, that we know you aren't any worse than the rest of us, and that ultimately you rule your own house?

And how do you know brachina isn't aware of that Supreme Court ruling? In the first place, you have mentioned it already, and secondly, it is not the same principle.

For that matter, based on the argument I took brachina's "no compromise" comment to be specific to the dress code, not other aspects of the proposal. It's an opinion, like yours, and I have already said I agree with it. Frankly, I am most concerned about people from these cultures being shut out of the judiciary, and positions of high authority.

This dismissive argument only works to a point. Beyond that it is irrelevant, and just as insulting and ignorant as some of the attitudes which offend you.

 

 

 

pookie

Unionist wrote:

You missed my point entirely, pookie - which was not at all to argue in favour of restrictions on what cops, judges, prison guards may wear (I do not argue in favour of that) - but rather, that people from elsewhere (in this case, not from the nation of Québec) criticize things they know very little about (such as all the other aspects of QS's bill, the ones which don't deal with wearing religious symbols at all) - and that they tolerate, and in fact are blissfully ignorant of, restrictions on freedom of conscience that exist under their very noses, while finding it all too simple to condemn such infringements elsewhere.

.

I just find your constant distinctions based on being "from elsewhere" tiresome.

I grew up in Quebec ok? Went to school there. Worked there.

If there are people really blissfully ignorant that religious freedom and conscience is limited, for good reasons and bad, everywhere in Canada - well, I don't see too many of them on this thread.

No one is required to focus on them, or that, on a thread dealing with a singular Quebec law. Nor are they required to give "attaboys" to other parts of the alternative proposal.

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