Federal parties united in opposition to PQ's values charter
The Conservative government says it would mount a legal challenge against the new charter of Quebec values if it was deemed to violate religious freedoms.
Employment Minister Jason Kenney, who also oversees multicultural policy, says that if the Quebec proposals become law, they will be reviewed by the federal Justice Department.
Kenney also accuses the Parti Quebecois government of trying to pick a fight with the federal government while most people are more concerned about jobs and the economy.
The values charter seeks to emphasize the separation of church and state in all public institutions by banning the wearing of obvious religious symbols on the job.
Kenney and Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel were uncharacteristically terse when asked to react to the proposals.
Federal parties have had to grapple with how to respond to the values charter, in the face of what appears to be significant support for the concept in certain areas of the province.
Charter 'unacceptable': Mulcair
Meanwhile, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has denounced the charter as completely unacceptable.
At the NDP's caucus retreat in Saskatoon, Mulcair said that the proposed text released today in Montreal confirms the party's worst fears.
Mulcair said he rejects the Quebec government's approach categorically, saying human rights don't have a best-before date and they're not a popularity contest.
He said it's unacceptable to think that a woman worker wearing a head scarf in a daycare centre will lose her job.
Mulcair had faced criticism for not immediately coming out against the charter when details first began leaking out weeks ago.
He was criticized for pandering to popular sentiment in Quebec, where the charter idea is popular and which accounts for 57 of the NDP's 100 MPs, including Mulcair.
'Quebecers are better than this': Trudeau
Before the details of the charter were formally announced, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau drew links between the plan and U.S. segregation, which earned him some scoldings in Quebec, especially from his Liberals' more nationalist opponents.
Today in Montreal, Trudeau sought to reassure Canadians that all Quebecers don't think like the Parti Quebecois.
"I trust and want to reassure Canadians that Mme. Marois does not speak for all Quebecers when she puts forward an idea of forcing people to choose between their work and their religion," Trudeau says.
And he adds the PQ will regret putting the idea forward.
"Quebecers are better than this. And Mme. Marois is going to find out the hard way over the coming weeks and months."