Article: Michael Chmielewski – Editor-in-chief
Enforced by legislation, secularism is no better than any state backed religion. The separation of church and state should be striven for, but secularism should be never enforced, as in banning something religious. By proposing its “Values Charter,” Quebec’s Parti Quebecois government is no better than any religiously driven state.
The “Values Charter” is unconstitutional, and irresponsible. The “freedom of conscience and religion” is one of Canada’s Fundamental Freedoms, according to that outstanding document, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
I was taken aback when I first heard the news of enforced secularism in Quebec. For the longest time, I’ve been the most ardent supporter of Quebec.
This time, they have gone too far.
No matter what my opponents said against Quebec before this, I could counter them. For example, many would lambaste separatism as the highest scalable peak of stupidity. Coming from someone who has firstly lived in Quebec, and secondly read and studied the literature of separatists, not only of Quebec but of many countries that yearned to be free, I could defend their ambitions. I cannot defend them now.
The Part Quebecois can now, finally, claim to have reached that peak.
This legislation appeals to the lowest common denominator of Quebec society: those who wish for a pure “laine” Quebec. It appeals most to those who know nothing of the world, and who shudder at the thought of different ideals, beliefs and religions. The legislation that bans religious garb in the public sectors is a sense, a ploy to gain votes.
You know it’s bad when Jacques Parizeau, former Premier of Quebec, says that this legislation goes too far. Coming from the man who, as Premier, blamed the 1995 referendum loss on “money and the ethnic vote.” It’s dumb criticizing dumber.
As anybody would notice walking the halls of the University of Regina, this is a very diverse campus. Students from all walks of life can study and live here. The campus has become even friendlier to ethnic and religious diversity in recent times, with the installation of foot-washing stations.
This is the kind of world that I want to live in, not one where society is segregated.
Ironically, the PQ government does not want to remove the famous crucifix from the National Assembly, because it’s a “cultural symbol.” If they’re really going through with this, an indicative act of faith by the PQ would be to confine that cross to the trash. It should be the first thing they do.