It’s been an inauspicious month for Premier Pauline Marois’ minority government.
First it tabled its so-called charter of Quebec values. Bill 60 – whose full, Orwellian name is the “Charter affirming the values of state secularism and religious neutrality and of equality between women and men, and providing a framework for accommodation requests” – seeks to ban public servants, broadly defined, from wearing religious symbols at work.
There’s no point sugar-coating the plan. It’s exclusionary and reactionary, plain and simple. As many critics have noted, it’s a classic case of a solution in search of a problem. There was – and is – little evidence that public servants can’t put aside their religious beliefs when doing their jobs.
But as is so often the case with divisive, wedge politics, the charter’s true purpose lies elsewhere. Bill 60 sacrifices minority rights in a craven effort to gain a majority and provoke a fight with Ottawa, with the ultimate aim of achieving separation for Quebec. Continue reading