« Je suis surpris qu’après tant d’années de débats, le monde scolaire ne soit pas mieux équipé pour traiter ce genre de problèmes. L’absence d’une politique générale laisse les directions d’école à elles-mêmes. Soumises à toutes sortes de pressions, il n’est pas certain qu’elles prennent les bonnes décisions. »
Translation: “What surprises me is, after so many years of debate, that the educational sector isn’t better equipped to deal with such issues. The absence of a general policy gives individual schools too much leeway and, when faced with different types of pressure, are liable to make bad decisions.”
This conversation almost always becomes “you’re a racist” if you have an issue with any sort of religious accommodation, but it’s not that simple. While I have a big problem with politicians making hay over this, Bouchard is right: Our government needs to legislate a policy for public schools that is equitable.
Personally, I would never ask our public school to accommodate the Jewish holidays. We chose the public system knowing our kids would miss those days of school and have to make up the work. To me, the law should be: Public schools do not make religious accommodations to their schedules or curriculum, period. If your kids need to miss school, they can make up the work.
But this whole issue boils down to our government’s cowardice in the face of the issue of religious accommodations in society. If the Quebec Liberals had implemented Bouchard-Taylor eight years ago like they should have, this would have already been resolved by the courts.
Instead, they continue to use religious accommodation as a weapon against the opposition. It’s the worst kind of wedge politics and it’s no different than what the PQ and CAQ have been peddling: It’s us against them, only in the PLQ’s case, it abuses the supposed high road by using it as a smokescreen to cover up the fact that its leadership is well aware the only weapons it needs to keep getting elected are fear of a PQ referendum or playing the CAQ’s nationalist card against it – despite the CAQ being committed to staying in Canada.
All three parties are wrong on this subject and the people paying for it are those in religious minorities.
The Quebec Liberals need to enact Bouchard-Taylor now and move this subject forward once and for all.