Quebec: Values charter is ‘conspicuously’ not about secularism

Writing in the Montreal Gazette, Don Macpherson carries out a thorough demolition of the Parti Québécois government’s proposed “Charter of Quebec Values”.

He concludes:

… by establishing a double standard for religious symbols, favouring those of the Catholic religion over all others, it admits that it is not really about secularism.

One of the few Quebec commentators who supports the PQ values charter, Mathieu Bock-Côté, wrote on his Journal de Montréal blog that the crucifix in the Assembly is a symbol not only of religion, but also of identity.

“It represents the symbolic predominance of the historic French-speaking majority in the public space,” he wrote.

That’s what the PQ values charter is about. It’s about the supremacy of old-stock French-Canadians, and the ethnic nationalism characteristic of right-wing parties elsewhere in the world.

See also Grégoire Webber, “From London, Marois’s view of British multiculturalism sounds odd”, Montreal Gazette, 11 September 2013

Update:  See Haroon Siddiqui, “Pauline Marois issues fatwa on Quebec secularism”, Toronto Star, 12 September 2013