Longtime separatist Yves Michaud has some harsh words for people who are upset with the PQ's secularism charter: pack your bags and leave.
Michaud, who in a 2000 radio interview denounced Jews as acting like "they're the only people who suffered in the history of humanity" — and earned himself an official condemnation in the National Assembly for it — made his pro-charter statement just days before public hearings on it are set to begin.
In a recent interview, he says minister Bernard Drainville needs to maintain a hard line in the face of the charter's opponents. A secular society, he says, should make no compromises to accommodate whichever set of religious beliefs.
He also says it wouldn't bother him if any public employee got fired for wearing a kippa or a hijab or any other religious symbol on the job. Those who refuse to leave their religious clothing "in the closet", he says, should move "to a country where it's tolerated."
Three former PQ premiers, Lucien Bouchard, Jacques Parizeau and Bernard Landry, have already come out against some of the more controversial aspects of the charter — particularly, the provision which bans public employees from wearing religious symbols in the workplace.
The public hearings get underway on Jan. 14.