Quebec’s new charter of values targets minorities and uses secularism to advance the separatist cause
Ah Quebec, la belle province. I’ve always looked at my French province as being the example to follow when it comes to progressive values and the separation of church and state in North America. However, the new Quebec Charter of Values takes it too far.
I believe quite highly in state secularism as do most fellow Quebecers. We realized a long time ago that the church has no business in the affairs of the province. That is the precise reason our separatist government is seizing the opportunity to use secularism for their own political gain.
Last week, Quebec’s government introduced its controversial Charter of Quebec Values, which would ban “overt and conspicuous” religious symbols worn by government employees. The plan would prohibit public employees from wearing Islamic headscarves, Sikh turbans and Jewish yarmulkes… Crosses, crucifixes and Star of Davids worn as necklaces are fine if they’re small.
The ban would affect civil servants, teachers, law enforcement, firefighters, doctors, nurses and public day care employees. Elected officials would be exempt of course, so naturally (like everything else) the law wouldn’t apply to themselves.
As I said I’m all for secularism, but what business does any government have in telling people what kind of hat they can wear in a free society? Why would anyone care if their kid’s math teacher wear’s a hijab or their doctor wear’s a kippah? If I’m getting prepped for surgery, I’m much more concerned with the brain in the surgeon’s head, not the cap on top of it.
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression even if those expressions are religious ones I personally can do without. It’s the people who decide to preach the object behind these symbols that I really have a problem with.
This law targets minorities more than anything else. Christian and Catholics don’t really wear religious head-wear. The only catholic I know who wears a hat is the pope. Muslims and Sikhs don’t really express their faith by wearing golden trinkets, they have a rather unique attire that’s impossible to hide.
For those of you reading who are not familiar with Quebec, I can tell you with certainty that these minorities are being targeted on purpose. If the Quebec government was really that gung-ho on expanding secularism on government property, they would be removing the giant crucifix atop Mount Royal in Montreal and removing the one now sitting on the wall inside the Quebec Legislature.
The real motivation behind this secularist expansion is the Separatist government’s “raison d’être”. The sole goal of the political party in power in our province is to separate from Canada. One of the main groups of people blocking the separatist dream (other than the English) are minorities.
Now that Quebec Premier Pauline Marois and her separatist Parti Québécois are in power again, they have decided to no one’s surprise to do everything possible to boost the separatist cause. Evidently that means chasing religious minorities out of the province. Every minority that leaves is one less vote to stay in Canada if another referendum on Quebec independence is held.
Immigrants and first generation Quebecois are first and foremost Canadian, if they are not free to express themselves within the province, they’ll move to Ontario or any other province that welcomes them. Just what the separatists are banking on.
Quebec can’t afford to lose these educated civil servants (and their families) over something as ridiculous as religious hats. We need all the doctors, teachers and daycare workers we can get thank you very much.
What really gets my blood boiling is Marois’ attempt to disguise the law as a charter of “values”. What sounds like an extension of Canada’s charter of rights and freedoms is really just a discriminatory law directed at the people who came here seeking those rights and freedoms. If they were honest they’d have called it the “off with your head-wear bill” or something.
Joking aside, at least it has become clear to Quebec voters that our separatist government is more interested in removing religious hats than concentrating on corruption in the province or our under-funded health care system
I never thought I’d be caught dead saying this, but I hope we along with our religious communities can band together to oppose this supposed charter of values before it becomes law.
The last thing I want to see is a mass exodus of minorities leaving the province because of a separatist government. Unlike the English exodus of the 1970’s, I hope we can all stay and fight together.