Rights, Freedoms, and Charters


I don’t really like to get political and only because politics can be boring and it also pits otherwise like minded writers and readers against one another. However, I have felt like I need to speak up and out about this subject: The Quebec Charter of Values.

If you’ve not been following this topic, essentially the Government of Quebec has decided to pass a law not allowing public servants to wear any religious symbols that are too big (only small religious symbols such as crosses and small stars of David are allowed). I am not sure if those handing out citations to those wearing large crosses will carry around a ruler to tape measure, but I guess we will see. The Charter also bans the wearing of turbans, hijabs, or kippas (Jewish head pieces).

I have to admit that I am fairly upset about this. When I heard about this, I was like a dog that had had their fur rubbed in the wrong direction. It made me think about when the Canadian Government banned First Nations people from practicing religious ceremonies like the Potlatch.  It is all kinds of wrong. I really feel as though the Government of Quebec added in the cross to imply that they weren’t being racist or oppressive against any Middle Eastern or Asian country.

I notice that they didn’t ban First Nations people from wearing their ceremonial items and I even heard that the First Nations peoples of Quebec are a little upset because the government has a duty to consult with First Nations groups about laws that may affect them. Because the Government of Quebec did not consult First Nations peoples, I believe that First Nations ceremonial symbols are not the target, but rather people from Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Actually, the cross is literally getting caught in the cross hairs because it isn't the intended target either.

I saw a Doctor of East Indian descent on CBC’s The National a couple weeks back and he was practically in tears thinking about having to leave Quebec, the province he was born in and made his life in.  Is Quebec really going to risk losing incredible people that are a part of their tax paying workforce?

I was shocked to find out that Quebec never signed the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that so many of us in other provinces take for granted.

The Quebec Charter of Values is nothing more than an oppressive and abusive piece of legislation that aims to commit cultural genocide against people who in some cases have come to Canada because of our religious freedoms. Quebec itself fought for its freedom and continues to do so with its incredibly insane language laws. Nonetheless, I cannot sit idle and say nothing when I feel like peoples' rights are being tampered with. This Charter of Values is wrong, just plain wrong. 

I love Quebec and I think it’s an amazing province and I know that most Quebecers don’t agree with the government on this issue. It is a very divisive issue that is sure to work against the reigning political party. I don't know about you, but these values contained in the Quebec Charter of Values are not my values. I thought we as Canadians were better than this. 

But I have to ask, what is the real motive of the Parti Quebecois?