Quebec to ban religious symbols from public institutions

Posted By: Michel Boyer · 8/20/2013 5:34:00 AM

Watch for sparks to fly when the proposed Charter of  Quebec Values is formally introduced this fall.

The Marois government has decided it wants all forms of religious symbols banned from all public institutions.

This morning's Journal de Montreal says the PQ wants to ban conspicuous religious symbols such as Islamic headscarves, Jewish skullcaps, Christian crosses and Sikh turbans from government offices, public schools, the courts, government-funded daycare centres and hospitals.

"This legislation applies right in the face of both the Canadian and the Quebec charter," said constitutional lawyer Julius Grey. "The jurisprudence is very consistent, you have to accomodate these things, reasonably."

The charter would apply only to employees and certain religious institutions, who could obtain a "right of withdrawal" that would have to be renewed every five years.

However the charter would also require that in certain cases, such as in the courts, participants would have to remove any face covering such as a niqab or burqa.

"The idea is to move towards a more republican French-type model, and there is also a political element to it," said Stephen Slimovitch of B'Nai Brith. "To pick up the vote from those who are completely against religion."

CJAD's political analyst believes said the topic may lead to another identity-related election.

"The government will want us to talk about that, instead of the economy, " Jean Lapierre said. "Now, this is going to be for the opposition not to get trapped into that."

The Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions, Bernard Drainville, has said the charter will provide clear rules and a framework on how to manage religious accommodation in Quebec.

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  1. LMAO posted on 08/20/2013 05:47 AM
    This should help hurry along the PQ exit.
    1. G posted on 08/20/2013 11:51 AM
      @LMAO You took the words right out of my mouth. This is good stuff and people will be furious.

      I was born a catholic but now am agnostic by choice. Although I'm not religious, I still believe that everyone no matter what god they pray to has the right to wear what they believe in. Let the people have their freedom of choice.
  2. Dianne posted on 08/20/2013 06:03 AM
    Quebec to ban religious symbols from public institutions just who does this government think it is, you are trying to make sure no one but real hardcore separtists are left here. How about a hospital like the Jewish General who actually have very religious doctors working there, I would love to see you try and remove the skull cap. Does that mean if you are ever lucky enough to have a pope come visit you would force him to remove his skull cap?? Of course not since this has nothing to do with our province, it has to do with the bigotry of our government, How about the major hospitals decide to become private once again and NOT A SINGLE ONE OF YOU BIGOTS WOULD BE ALLOWED IN, isn't that the one place all of you go to get medical help? You can't do a damn thing without being a majority in parliament and do you really think anyone would agree with you. Does that mean you will create more useless waste of money jobs to make sure no one disobeys your rules?? Now I see why my QPP had to be pushed back 2 years, because you are all stupid enough to waste money on things that are childish, bigoted, etc etc etc. So really what you are saying is if someone is any religion besides Christians they no longer have personal rights?? Well except for this government that has decided we live in a monopoly, our premier is the Queen who couldn't speak the truth if she tried to. Same as some idiots trying to say that we live in a distinct society. I no longer see it, so just continue to destroy the place where I was born, educated, lived in and turn it into a total place of trash to live. We were unique when and only when we were bilingual. GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEADS and stop showing the world just how ignorant you all are, especially trying to push this latest crap on us. It will never work
    1. eh_bb10 posted on 08/20/2013 06:48 AM
      @Dianne Look Dianne, I am not disagreeing with your outrage, I totally get it but you want to read the full article before responding next time? And perhaps a little research might help you too. The article clearly states that the Jewish hospital can request an exemption and only public EMPLOYEES would be affected. The pope, as far as my research shows, is not one... also, you may not know this, but religious crosses worn outside your clothes have to be a discreet size. This is a Christian law in a once christian land that was unanimously passed and has been upheld for years. No cross police needed either.
      Saying all this of course does not mean I agree with what they are trying to pass. Just asking you to read and do your research before you write something on a journalistic wall that makes you look and sound like the uneducated and ignorant pq party you are raving and ranting against....
    2. Don Baker posted on 08/20/2013 07:05 AM
      @Dianne I guess that means they have to take away all the crosses as well?
  3. Rob posted on 08/20/2013 06:43 AM
    As well as this insanity, the PQ wants to legalize euthanasia. Good, let's do that, and euthanize the PQ first. Then repeal the law. It has become unbearably embarrassing to be a citizen of the once-great province of Quebec. "The Charter of Quebec Intolerance".
    1. Andrew posted on 08/21/2013 10:35 AM
      @Rob What does euthanasia have to do at all with this...?
  4. Carlos posted on 08/20/2013 06:56 AM
    Once again the PQ comes with their Crazy policy... are these people for real? PQ politicians should be ashamed to talk/discuss this policy. What they need is to see a shrink as soon as possible.
  5. ishtar posted on 08/20/2013 08:17 AM
    what's next ?? demolishing the crosses off the top of church steeples ??
  6. Realist posted on 08/20/2013 09:09 AM
    I guess they will need a new design for the Quebec flag to remove the conspicuous cross.
    1. Nica posted on 08/20/2013 11:00 AM
      @Realist agreed..flag must be changed and the cross on Mt. Royal must be removed.
  7. Grace posted on 08/20/2013 09:33 AM
    I noticed they didn't include crosses in this article.

    "This morning's Journal de Montreal says the PQ wants to ban conspicuous religious symbols such as Islamic headscarves , Jewish skullcaps and Sikh turbans from government offices, public schools, the courts, government-funded daycare centres and hospitals."

    So it's still totally all right to push religion on people, but only the ones Quebec agrees with? When's the next flight out of this backwards place? I want on.
    1. me posted on 08/20/2013 01:05 PM
      @Grace I heard the mention crosses on the radio. I agree with ban.
  8. Joseph posted on 08/20/2013 09:35 AM
    This PQ government, should be removed as soon as possible. They are the shame of the free world.
  9. Drew posted on 08/20/2013 10:02 AM
    I agree with ban . When you go to work leave your flags at home. Religion, Politics and your personal views are not a discussion at work .
    1. Zozo posted on 08/20/2013 03:05 PM
      @Drew Perhaps you and the PQ should leave your political and religious views at home rather than trying to enforce them on other employees.
      A religious dress code is not a FLAG and people do does dress a certain way for the purpose of expressing their views to OTHERS. People adhere to a dress code, because it serves a purpose for them personally. A woman may choose to wear flat shoes or high heels to work, because one or the other is serving a purpose for HER (i.e. comfort vs. style/added height, etc); she is not imposing her views of footwear on others.
    2. Lena73 posted on 08/28/2013 09:05 AM
      @Drew ...and thus is born dictatorship
  10. Ziko posted on 08/20/2013 10:42 AM
    Yes, I agree with the ban.
    Use your religious symbols at your own religious institutions and home, don't impose it at others in public.
    I don't care what religion or what color you are for me we are a co-citizens and we are equal in rights.
    If you accept others then don't offend them with your religious symbols, God should be in your heart and not in your outside look.
    1. K. posted on 08/20/2013 11:04 AM
      @Ziko So Ziko, you think that all religious symbols except the cross of course (because they didn't mention it and people would go crazy if they were included in the ban) is OK? It is completely one sided and they're picking on minority religions as always. This is not OK and goes against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, if they are going to go on with this ban then it should apply to ALL religions and that means removing crosses too.
    2. noah saber freedman posted on 08/20/2013 11:39 AM
      @Ziko you're offended by seeing someone wear a turban? i feel just awful for you.
  11. john posted on 08/20/2013 11:10 AM
    how about we ban religion PERIOD?
  12. SG posted on 08/20/2013 11:15 AM
    So if there is a doctor who works at McGill or Universite de Montreal and happens to be an observing person, he or she would have to take off a turban, a yamulke, a headscarf or a cross (let's see if the cross is included in this one), or not be allowed to work? Do you know how many qualified physicians would quit their jobs and go private rather than follow this rule? Another way to ruin the health sector. And what about in schools, daycares? No more educators with headscarves? That's about 20% of the qualified FRENCH-SPEAKING child educators in this province. That will drive even more of the beloved francophone immigrants out of Quebec. This is a region of Canada, not a "separate country" and therefore these French-style bans will simply cause a huge backlash using the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which does apply to all Canadian citizens. The Quebec Charter is a fill-in document for technical purposes since the National Assembly did not sign the Canadian constitution but it has no legal bearing over the Canadian Charter when it comes to individual citizens. PQ is rubbish.
  13. Realist posted on 08/20/2013 12:03 PM
    To those who support the ban:
    Please explain to me why religous symbols are offensive. Nobody is trying to convert you, they are simply declaring of an idividual's own faith. If they don't apply to you ignore them. If they are of your own faith what are you feeling that makes you offended? Have you ever heard of freedom of speech, perhaps it should also be included in the declaration of values.

    There are those who find certain cultural practices offensive but that does not necessarily equate to religious symbols. The partie quebecois claims that there is a national identity and distinctness about the province, so much so that they are declaring a code of values. Religious symbols are also about a code of values, how can you promote one without the other?
  14. Deng posted on 08/20/2013 12:06 PM
    Marios knows a majority government,is nowhere
    to be seen,and she is looking for alternatives to get
    another mijority,instead of being ousted.
  15. Francois posted on 08/20/2013 12:34 PM
    As a preamble I have never been a separatist. But over the years I have grown to understand the movement and the need for Quebecers to assert their identity. This, strangely, has not come from the Anglophones (although I find it extremely pitiful and a huge lack of intelligence on the part of English people having lived here for decades, yes decades, who can barely say "bonnedjouuure" - believe me I have tons of proofs to that effect) but from the allophones. First it is a simple question of respect: if you live somewhere else you take on the customs and language of your HOST because foreigners are guests here. Try to go in Hong Kong, or Dubai or anywhere else for that matter and try to order a loaf of bread in your own language you will be looked at like an alien. It is a simple gesture of courtesy and shows half an ounce of brain to ask for your bread in Chinese or whatever. It just so happens that the language spoken by quebeckers is French and I do expect to be spoken to in French wherever I go. Period. NO excuse.

    Now I know this debate is not about language but about religion but the two are not so removed from each other. For example a Sikh wearing his turban while in the office of his employment shows that he has absolutely no interest, no intention, no desire to adapt and to integrate in his new place of adoption. And it does not matter whether it is in QC, BC, ON, etc. I (and Canadians) have to walk on eggshells to protect these religions when we are not so religious to begin wit, and even more which, in QC, not only dilutes our long standing Catholic religion but more to the point subbrogates our religion to theirs so as to not offend them. Pleeeeaaassse give me a break. They are guests here, They did not build this wonderful province nor any of the wonderful other nine that makes our our (once) great country (which has turned into a major haven for criminals, terrorists etc because we are far more too permissive. These foreigners fled or left their country supposedly because of dire conditions there or for a better life here. IF life is so much better here then accept it as it is and practice your religion in the confine of your place of worship or home. Period. Where do we stop. Where do we draw the line. I could go on or on to other topics but I don't have enough time. The Jewish, Catholic and Protestant communities have co-existed here for ever. They have built this country together not always in harmony but have succeeded. I do not wish to spend the rest of my life accomodating someone who has no intelligence and respect for our own traditions, values and religious beliefs. For once, well done PQ
    1. ems posted on 08/20/2013 06:22 PM
      @Francois English is an official language in Quebec. English is spoken as a second language in both Dubai and Hong Kong, Hong Kong was an British colony and then under British administration until 1997. I would have no problem ordering a loaf of bread in either Dubai or Hong Kong. All you have really done is demonstrate your ignorance of the world outside Quebec. Incidentally Hong Kong was not keen to be returned to China there was a mass exodus.
    2. Sonia posted on 08/20/2013 08:03 PM
      @Francois I don't agree.... Canada has come to be a great place to live BECAUSE of the diversity we have. We are not opposed to any race, religion, or sexual preference. People should be allowed to practice whatever religion they want. Yes, we 'normal religion' people might have built this province, but other people have called this place home for decades. I am only 30 years old, does that make me any more 'worthy' to my life/religion than someone who has lived here for 60 years who wears a turban? Also, you shouldn't bring up the fact that we are 'home' to criminals , because as per history, many French women that came to Quebec were prostitutes (filles du roi), does that make the French any less 'worthy' for their rights? No. Freedom of speech should extend to freedom of expression, and if someone would like to express their culture and background, that's their choice. As long as no one is pushing their religion on me, I'm fine with the religious symbols.
  16. Alain posted on 08/20/2013 01:33 PM
    Bravo Pauline!
    Another example from the politician who only thinks about their voters.
    She wants to keep 32% that brought her to power.
    PQ is doing what their electors support instead of trying to please everyone like liberals did.
  17. native first nation posted on 08/20/2013 01:48 PM
    this is no diffrent from referendums Montreal has lost economy power to its nabour Toronto and its title as the largest city in canada because of it havent they learned from this mistake imigrants are one of the driving force of the economy in Montreal this is a economy breakdown again for not only Montreal but for the whole belle province why should we ban this freedom of expression not very welcoming for our friends, Pauline Marois is diminishing greatness of Montreal and giving it to Toronto again, PQ think modernly this is 21st century! qaujimaittualuit!
  18. Basia posted on 08/20/2013 01:49 PM
    Is our human society moving backwards with this prosposed ridiculous idea for a ban? Let it go Pauline, and begin to demonstrate some compassion, integrity, and dignity. Please, before the embarrassment overwhelms the province!
  19. Murray posted on 08/20/2013 02:42 PM
    When was the last time that you said that you were proud to be from Quebec?
    1. steven posted on 08/22/2013 06:03 PM
      @Murray Sorry to say never !
    2. Bill Goddard posted on 08/23/2013 08:36 PM
      @Murray It's getting harder.
  20. bernadette posted on 08/20/2013 02:50 PM
    i wanna know what gives the government the right to tell people they cant have religous symbols in public domains yet have not addressed the gun and drug permotions,example: childrens fenced in parks riddled with dirty needle drop boxes. why not place it outside the park where kids cant get hurt? you would think the government would try to fix the things that actually need fixing opposed to trying to make non religious people have to see religious symbols! no they think its more important to deal with the shit that doesnt matter rather then what actually does matter.
  21. Richard posted on 08/20/2013 04:03 PM
    I am completely disgusted by anyone in favour of this ban!

    Ziko you say keep your religion at home and don't impose it on others? Well!
    The PQ have been saying that about the english language for years...You OK with that?
    You say we are equal in rights...How does a skull cap or burka violate your rights? Which rights?

    You say the workplace is not the place for discussion...who is discussing it? And If I chose to discuss my religion with a person of another faith...what business is it of yours? Is it interfering with your right to discuss what someone was wearing at the oscars?

    Its ok to come to work looking like you slid head first into a tackle box but a skullcap is not?

    Maybe Im offended by your Habs cap ot t-shirt because Im a fan of another team.....I want them banned because Im offended by them...Are you OK with that? No? Whats the difference? They say that hockey is a religion in Montreal...I cant stand hockey....I want it all banned!

    Please explain to me how anyone wearing thier religios symbol affects you? How does it change your life? If you return your books to the library and the woman working there is wearing a does it affect will it affect you if she cant? Will your taxes go down? Will the potholes be filled?

    Please explain what possible difference in your life this will make....

    I dare you
  22. Kari posted on 08/20/2013 04:30 PM
    The fact is, that these articles, are PART of a persons religion and SYMBOLIZE something. For those who want to remain TRUE to their beliefs, they are worn.
    It is not a " fashion statement " that can be dismissed by sheer stupidity.
    Again, GO AWAY PQ GOVERNMENT. How much world wide embarrassment are you willing to cause??????
  23. Coexist posted on 08/20/2013 07:14 PM
    I am saddened to think that this province that boasts to be the most tolerant in Canada is proposing this religious ban. While we welcome people of others in our country. I am excited to see these people, Muslim, Jews, East Indian, Asian ... bla bla bla ... I must add, however, these people who refuse to remove their head dress or necessary garments for security in airport, for me. pose a problem. Again, I welcome you to my country ..... live free here ... !! Pls educate me on your culture, as I would love to about mine, but, you must observe the security lasw of this country. Saying all that ... this is not a religious issue, but purely an issue on Separatism. It;s aim is to "cleanse" the province of all those who are not francophone. The anglophones and allophones, make up a good part of Quebecs revenue, however,sadly, one by one the exodus is happening from this province. What was Canada's most fantastic and exciting city, is loosing people who add to make its culture what it is... Whatever culture you are, we need to Coexist, and if we leave it to our government (small "G"), all our cultures will be non-existent soon, and that will be a crime. .
  24. walter posted on 08/20/2013 07:52 PM
    Wearing or not wearing a religious symbol, does not make a person.
    It's the philosophy of what you/they believe in that is important.

    Therefore, if you are tolerant to other hopefully they learn to be tolerant towards you. "Freedom" that's we all love in Canada.

    All I hope and wish is that these culture that have come to Canada, see what we have here and don't try and change us to what they left from.
    That is what worries people.
  25. Charles posted on 08/20/2013 09:45 PM
    I see it, I hear it, and I still can't believe what is happening in Quebec. At what point do we start considering pressing criminal charges against this band of intolerant racist whackos? C'mon Harper. Wake up. Once the world is through looking at Marois like the next Castro, they'll be looking at you as a spineless coward who never lifted a finger to safeguard the indivisible rights of minority groups in Quebec.

    Is the French media even covering this or are they spending the majority of their time discussing the signing of a minor league goalie to the Habs farm team? Marois must be loving this. Her bystander constituency is largely composed of uninformed high school dropouts who never challenge her authority no matter how egregious the proposed legislation.

    Someone PLEASE find a way to encourage the more than 50+ percent of French kids who don't graduate from high school. We desperately need more of these French kids to be able read, to think more critically of their leaders, to demonstrate a far greater measure of insight into the difference between right and wrong, to truly appreciate the value of their vote, to illustrate greater compassion and concern for what is happening to their neighbors, and perhaps most importantly, to show some measure of imperative and ownership regarding their destiny and perception on the global stage.
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