Premier Pauline Marois insists the controversial secularism charter is not part of any electoral ploy, as many of its critics have charged.
Several weeks of public hearings have begun on the charter in Quebec City, with the minister responsible for the document, Bernard Drainville, telling reporters that the PQ is willing to make it an election issue.
"We are working on [an election], we are working on the economy and employment," she says. "We have a lot of jobs to do on the economy and the electrification of transport, so we are not thinking about an election; that is not an issue at this moment."
The Liberals ans the CAQ have both indicated they intend to vote down the PQ's upcoming budget, which would send Quebecers to the polls as early as this spring.
And, like Drainville, Marois also says the government has no plans to change the part of the legislation which bans public employees from wearing overtly religious symbols — adding that Bill 60 provides for a transition period to allow the employees to get used to the idea of religious symbols being banned.