The silence from “all official secularism = racism” Quebec Liberal supporters regarding the PLQ’s upcoming secularism legislation is deafening. Although I’m not personally in love with any form of official secularism, I support the Coalition Avenir Québec’s approach to the subject which is to find a reasonable middle ground that will resolve the issue as best as possible and not allow the PQ to continue to divide Quebecers.
While I’m happy the Quebec Liberals seem to have seen the light regarding finding a pragmatic solution to a divisive issue, I’m once again not impressed that the party campaigned one way and is going another now that it’s in government. The PLQ was happy to capitalize on anti-secularism rhetoric to get into power, but now it must tread lightly in getting such legislation passed.
If it’s pragmatic and acts in the best interests of Quebec, I’ll support the legislation insofar as it rids the front pages of the issue and gets people focused on the only really important subject in Quebec today: Fixing the economy. While I am not speaking officially for the CAQ in this post, I believe my party will do the same if the legislation is fair and practical.
Read more about the issue in The Gazette: http://bit.ly/1qfmeh5
The Liberal legislation would be based on the party’s current position on values, contained in the January report of a caucus committee chaired by Gilles Ouimet.
It would require that public services be dispensed and received with the face uncovered. And it would forbid public employees from wearing not only Muslim facial veils but even the chador, which exposes the face.
It would amend the Quebec rights charter to introduce mention of the religious neutrality of the state, which might restrict individual freedom.
Also, it would impose new limits on “accommodations,” and create a hierarchy of rights in which the equality of women with men would have precedence over all other considerations.
If the above highlight turns out to be accurate, then, really, the PLQ is not that far from the CAQ’s position. Again, this is a case in which it’s time to reel back the rhetoric on all sides and focus on a common-ground solution… that’s what the CAQ is all about.