Jean-François Lisée has struck again in the pages of the New York Times, once again defending his government's secularism charter, and referring to the contentious debate over it as perhaps "the last stand of Canada’s multiculturalist experiment."
In a new op-ed piece, the international relations minister cites several examples of how multiculturalism has failed in Europe, noting that German chancellor Angela Merkel "deemed multiculturalism — the idea that social harmony is best achieved through celebrating our differences — a complete failure in Germany", and that British Prime Minister David Cameron claimed it helped fuel radical Islam in Britain.
Lisée then pointed out the debate over multiculturalism has reached Quebec, and that the prevailing attitude against it in this province runs counter to Canada's long-standing multiculturalism policy. He also points out it's not the only thing that separates Quebecers and those in the rest of Canada.
"Quebecers' dissent from the rest of Canada extends as deep as the country's Constitution," he writes, before essentially trying to hammer home the notion that Quebec's separatist government in 1982 never signed onto it.
In November, Lisée and the minister responsible for the charter, Bernard Drainville, co-authored a letter to the editor in the Times, referring to the charter as "Jeffersonian", consistent with Thomas Jefferson's willingness to ruffle feathers and to separate church and state.