Towards an Inclusive Secularism and a Transformative Model of Community Engagement in Québec

Towards an Inclusive Secularism and a Transformative Model of Community Engagement in Québec

Date: October 2014    

Author: Roshan A. Jahangeer

In September 2013, the Parti Québécois (PQ)-led government in Québec released their proposal for a “Charter of Values” legislation (Bill 60) that would have prohibited public servants, parapublic, and some private sector workers from wearing so-called “ostentatious” religious signs or symbols. Although the PQ were defeated in April 2014, making defunct the controversial policy, the majority Liberal government promised to release its own version in the fall.

The track-record of the Liberal Party on the issue of religious accommodation leaves room for concern. This policy paper argues that any new Charter should be balanced and inclusive, addressing issues of concern without aggravating tensions between different groups in Québec society. Proper consultation is needed with all of the concerned parties and groups within Québec, particularly with those who were adversely affected by the initially proposed laws and measures contained in the Charter. 

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