Election Briefs: Secularism, Savings and Entrepreneurship
An Algerian PQ candidate was the target of a bizarre rant today by a Quebec mayor.
Djemila Benhabib helped Pauline Marois make the Secularism Charter announcement yesterday. The plan would ban religious symbols from public institutions, save for some that are tied to Quebec's Catholic heritage.
Benhabib went against her leader by saying she wants to see the crucifix out of the National Assembly.
So, Saguenay Mayor Jean Tremblay said that he doesn't want a lecture on secularism by a candidate who knows nothing of Quebec culture, because she's an Algerian with an unpronounceable name.
School Board concerns
English Montreal School Board officials are fearing the outcome of this provincial election.
They're taking the unusual step of expressing concern over some party platforms.
EMSB chair Angela Mancini says that the PQ's new Bill 101 would limit access to some of their programs and the CAQ's talk of abolishing some school boards is worrisome.
She's also criticizing Liberals for being too vague on the issue.
Yesterday, Francois Legault said young people were distracted by living "la belle vie."
Today, he has another criticism for Quebecers: They're not saving enough.
Speaking in Rivière du Loup, he said the rate of savings has dropped from 12% in 1993 to 2% today.
He is proposing to have a government agency manage registered savings plans.
Jean Charest says it's time Quebec's entrepreneurship course gets offered in every high school in the province.
He says he'll also require students to perform a mandatory 10 hours of volunteer work over the course of their grade 11 year.
It will teach them responsibility, Charest said, and how to contribute their community.
photo: La Presse