UPDATE: Charter of Values could lead to job losses, Marois says

But a PQ government would help those affected find private-sector work

Four women in hijabs look for work as Marois talks of public sector layoffs due to the Charter

Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois admitted today that some public servants could be fired if they insist on wearing a kippa, veil or turban - provided her government passes its Charter of Values. 

Marois said Wednesday that a few — perhaps "five or six"  — could find themselves without a job, but that there would be a plan in place to help them find work in the private sector. Asked repeatedly by reporters on details of that plan, Marois remained vague. 

"We hope that no one is fired, that's not our intention," Marois told radio host Paul Arcand on 98.5 FM. "But if there are [people who are fired], we'll help them find a job in the private sector."

The goal, Marois said, would be to use exemption periods of up to five years to convince the public servants in question to conform to the law; in other words, to adapt their religious convictions to suit the government's dress code.

Earlier in the morning, Marois was evasive when pressed on whether or not some would be fired: "I don't think that'll be the case, because we will work on this issue with different institutions."

On Tuesday evening at a debate on the Charter at Vanier College, the PQ's candidate for the north-end Acadie riding, Évelyne Abitbol, said that some people would be fired if they insisted on wearing their religious symbols on the job after one year.

"I had never heard it so succinctly put, yes or no," said Vanier economics professor Ron Bianchi. "When the answer 'yes' came out, the assembly was just stunned."

Abitbol, a Sephardic Jew, later backtracked, saying hospitals would be given a five-year window to apply the charter.

CJAD 800 asked Marois Wednesday afternoon if some of these public servants would end up leaving Quebec if let go:

"I'm not afraid about that," Marois said. "We will respect all the religions. We will respect all the people. Here there is freedom...but the rules will be clear."

Marois made the comments at an East End job centre. In the next room were about a dozen job-seekers, mostly visible minorities, and four of them were women wearing hijabs.

Asked if the juxtaposition pointed to a problem with the PQ's plan to integrate immigrants, Marois remained optimistic.

"No. I disagree with you. If the people are very well-informed...the rules will be very clear. So if you choose to live in Quebec, you will have to respect these rules."

A poll released Wednesday evening puts the PQ nine percentage points behind Liberals.

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  • 18
  1. joeN posted on 04/02/2014 11:21 AM
    Pauline and the PQ MUST lose their jobs come April 7th!!!!
  2. Barcham posted on 04/02/2014 11:36 AM
    Finally the truth comes out. After all the denials and statements that no one would lose their job, a minor candidate makes a mistake and lets it slip out. Now voters have to wonder how many other lies and half truths the PQ has put out there since the election campaign began. Anyone for a referendum? If the PQ continue on this path of shooting themselves in the foot, I can see the CAQ forming the opposition to the Liberals in the next government.

    But I'm sure that after Pauline is forced out of the PQ she will have nothing to worry about. Peladeau will be happy to give her a show on his network or maybe a column in one of his papers.
  3. Nigel Goddard posted on 04/02/2014 11:47 AM
    Am I being cynical by assuming that a law used to discriminate based on the clothes one wears could be adjusted to discriminate on a persons racial or ethnic group too? I hope I am wrong and that Bill 60 will unite Quebecers as its supporters have promised. Wait a sec, April 1st was yesterday wasn't it?
  4. Frank posted on 04/02/2014 12:02 PM
    The improvisation continues...I just heard on CJAD yesterday or the day before, I think it was Lisee who said that this was not the case!

    What a joke!
  5. James Martin posted on 04/02/2014 12:19 PM
    Well there it is Folks "THEY WILL BE FIRED"Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
    But they still claim they are not RACIST...655
  6. George Grummett posted on 04/02/2014 12:27 PM
    Mme Marois, I wish you a long and happy retirement.
    1. joeN posted on 04/02/2014 10:19 PM
      @George Grummett Why??? We should wish her the same pain and anxiety she has inflicted on all Quebecers and Canadians. It would be great justice if she ended up in a retirement home run by Kippa wearing Dr,'s and Hijab wearing nurses so she can be reminded every day of her hatred, stupidity, and ignorance.
  7. alty posted on 04/02/2014 12:51 PM
    the good news is that the marois government has been so successful at finding jobs for people that these fired employees should easily be able to find new jobs within ten years, i wonder how the ex-employyes of the eloctrolux plant feel about this as marois stated she tried to find a company to buy that plant as well. 1000 jobs lost a day in february in quebec and this nut bag is talking about helping people find jobs who she and her cohorts fired.
  8. Meatplow posted on 04/02/2014 01:22 PM
    "But if there are [people who are fired], we'll help them find a job in the private sector."......talk about your LMAO/knee slapper moment....doesn't she want the private sector to adopt the charter too?.....her and the PQ are a complete joke...
  9. George73 posted on 04/02/2014 02:14 PM
    Marois herself had pushed for private businesses to also adopt the Charter. So what help could she possibly provide people who are fired?

    Marois doesn't care about people losing their jobs. She's financially secure for life by way of her husband's business dealings.

    One can only imagine what kind of social worker she must have been.
  10. LMAO posted on 04/02/2014 03:11 PM
    "We hope that no one is fired, that's not our intention," Marois told radio host Paul Arcand on 98.5 FM. "But if there are [people who are fired], we'll help them find a job in the private sector."

    That's really funny considering many of the private sector are already indicating they would not employ someone who wore religious headgear because of the charter.
  11. Jennifer posted on 04/02/2014 04:19 PM
    Let's see what happens...lot of talent will leave Quebec and make the other provinces richer - leaving the poor separatists begging for jobs.
  12. tom posted on 04/02/2014 04:32 PM
    I think Marois should be more concerned about looking for a job herself next week!
  13. SStM posted on 04/02/2014 06:10 PM
    Shame on this abomination, its authors, and its supporters. Levesque would NEVER associate himself with this. Fortunately, it seems that Quebecers are beginning to see through this and glimpse the true nature of nationalism no matter how you spell the word.
  14. Gord posted on 04/02/2014 06:52 PM
    "The goal, Marois said, would be to use excemption periods of up to five years to convince the public servants in question to conform to the law; in other words, to adapt their religious convictions to suit the government's dress code."

    Is she serious? Adapt their religious convictions to suit the government's dress code? Where the hell am I living.....a communist county? Keep it up Marois.....your idiocy is shining brightly.
  15. Barcham posted on 04/02/2014 11:12 PM
    I think we are all missing the point a bit...she said she'd help them find jobs - she didn't say those jobs would be in Quebec.
  16. sandy posted on 04/03/2014 12:29 AM
    In 2014, the Marois charter borders on hate criminality, nothing less. Her and her cohort Drainville should be charged!
  17. Peter posted on 04/03/2014 07:08 AM
    This story does make sense on different levels. The problem is simple, everytime we put in place a new law, the people are the ones to pay, because we don't look at the law, but the person or people who this affects. This should have been in place 20 years ago..... it must be done today, but where in 20 years it would be impossible.
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