31 Aug 2013 Quebec’s Charter plan is not about symbols – it threatens religion itself
By Robert Joustra (published in Globe and Mail, Aug 22, 2013): It wasn’t that long ago that Prime Minister David Cameron called for a ‘muscular liberalism’ to solve the multicultural problems that ailed Britain. Hot on his heels, Germany’s Angela Merkel called multiculturalism a failure.
Look not at its French language or historic cobbled streets – here is proof that Quebec is the most European of Canada’s provinces. Even major public intellectual Charles Taylor, a philosopher who is no stranger to multicultural controversy, couldn’t restrain his incredulity: “I didn’t think the government would go that far,” he told a Radio-Canada interviewer.
But how far exactly has the Quebec government gone with its proposed Charter of Quebec Values tabled in the National Assembly next month? Religious symbols of all kinds will be banned not only from being worn by state employees in positions of authority, but also from daycare workers, public teachers, hospital employees and civil servants. People receiving government service will need to have their faces uncovered. The perception is that removal of public religious symbols will make these institutions more neutral, more fair minded, and that those receiving service will feel less threatened. Keep reading at the Globe and Mail.