Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The proposed Charter of Quebec Values: Pauline Marois is deflecting important economic issues while promoting separatism.

Mme. Marois: Are you ready for my Charter of Quebec Values?

The Charter of Quebec Values: Why separatists resort to high handed legislation to install their values on Quebeckers.

by Tom Thorne

Pauline Marois is at it again. The separatist premier of Quebec is about to launch new legislation in the National Assembly to secularize Quebec society. Just what she has in mind is yet to be fully determined but if you are a Muslim or a Sikh your head scarf or turban is likely on Ms. Marois’ chopping block. 

Ms. Marois is going to tell you how to dress and conduct yourself in public. Any symbol that may show that you are from a background where your clothes indicate your religious affiliation will now be banned apparently. 

In her zeal to install Quebec Values (another phrase for separatism equally as vague as Sovereignty Association) Ms. Marois is effectively thumbing her nose at Canadian Multiculturalism and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Ms. Marois has a nerve. She will discover that Canadians, and that includes Francophone Quebeckers, cherish their Canadian rights and freedoms. Mme. Marois can expect flack from the public and other political parties both provincial and federal concerning this piece of xenophobic nonsense. 

We know that over time the influence of the Catholic Church is diminished in Quebec where the moral direction of this institution is a misty remanent of a history almost forgotten. Parish churches throughout Quebec now stand as monuments of a low attendance institution stained by scandal. There is no anchor on this front against secularism.

Mme. Marois knows that this is the time to become a real secular state without any religious or moral restraint.  Not only is the secular state on the front burner of this separatist government but also in tandem prickly issues like euthanasia are on simmer in Quebec.

Anything to do with religion is now under attack as Mme. Marois designs what is different in Quebec from the rest of Canada. Her government, even in minority and with many economic ills to rectify, needs other issues to get the economy off their backs.  And it will all be done with a smile and assurances that there is nothing to worry about.

There is a lot to worry about. The Charter of Quebec Values defines what?  It will define differences between the Quebecois fact by pitting this main culture against immigrant groups who hold their cultures and religions seriously. In short it will make conflict stressing differences. It will be our way or the highway. Vive la difference will take on a new ominous meaning.

Canadians are smarter than this Parti Quebecois xenophobia. This proposed law, if it bans freedom of religion or expression will be challenged by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and by the Constitution of Canada.  No Canadian province can enact this kind of legislation without expecting a challenge. Mme. Marois is spoiling for a fight with a good portion of her Quebec citizens and the rest of Canada. Otherwise why is she doing this?

She is trying to get the separatist agenda on the front boiler. Her own leadership of the Parti Quebecois relies on it. If she can appeal to the hardcore separatist elements in her party she will have their help in the next provincial election. That election could happen anytime and she needs a track record of going for the separation of Quebec from Canada to stay in power.

In addition, with a Federal election in 2015, Mme. Marois will have created, she hopes, enough contemptuous energy in her province to destroy the New Democrats hold on the seats in Quebec. She will force Harper’s Conservatives to confront Quebec aspirations ensuring they get fewer than the six seats they now hold in the Federal Parliament.

Mme. Marois will have created a storm. She will try to snare new federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in her xenophobic political web thus denying a federal Liberal rebirth in Quebec. The only thing restraining Mme. Marois is her minority government. Imagine the trouble she would generate with a majority.

This is all so transparent. The Charter of Quebec Values?  Will this Charter respect multicultural groups, people with different religions and beliefs, Quebec born Anglophones, Quebecois who value their Canadian-Quebec identity? Will Quebec be compelled by public outcry against the Charter of Quebec Values to finally endorse Canada by signing the Constitution of Canada? 

By finally signing The Constitution, Quebec opts for a united Canada. Even without signing they are subject as Canadians to its provisions. It is better that they are aboard formally because as it stands now separatists think (wrongly) that a separate Quebec is still possible by referendum.

Pierre Trudeau some years ago, after the Constitution was repatriated from the British Parliament, was asked when Quebec would sign the document. His response was that Canada would have “to grow up a lot before that could happen”. This is the kind of comment that enrages separatists because it is the truth. 

This separatist Charter of Quebec Values is not creating an environment where Canada can grow up. On the contrary it is designed to create problems, spin propaganda and save Pauline Marois from dealing with Quebec’s real issues which are largely economic.

What is needed is political intestinal fortitude at the federal level endorsed by all Federal Parliament parties that Quebec Separatism is not in the cards. Then the Charter of Quebec Values would be a political non-starter. This proposed Quebec Legislation is clearly unconstitutional. Its strength will be that weak indecisive politicians at the federal level and in Quebec will allow it to create havoc by not being clear about its attack on Canadian values enshrined in the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

© Copyright 2013, Tom Thorne, All Rights Reserved

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