As some of you may or may not know, the government of Québec is looking to make some changes to the provincial charter of rights and freedoms. Usually, I would say that change can be good, but in this case I cannot agree in the least!

This post may be a bit all over the place – I’m that annoyed/disappointed/mad/enraged/heart-broken.

 

What are the changes proposed?

It would ban the wearing of “overt and conspicuous” religious symbols by any public/civil servants while on the job.

So what is an “overt and conspicuous” religious symbol anyway? Large crucifixes, turbans, hijabs, burqas and kippas. But feel free to wear a small symbol as jewelry.

 

Who is directly affected by the ban?

Public service extends to: judges, police, prosecutors, public daycare workers, teachers, school staff, hospital workers (doctors, nurses and other staff), municipal personnel.

 

Why is this ban being proposed?

To ensure the equality of the sexes and establish a secular society. *please note the whole “equality of the sexes” thing – anyone else feel this whole thing is really aimed at women wearing hijab?*

 

While it may not sound all that bad, the tensions this whole issue has created are horrible! It pits one group against another. As if non “pure-laine” didn’t feel unwanted enough, this gets thrown in their face. I would also like to point out that it’s not only Muslims, Jews and Sikhs that are affected, but Christians as well.

In a country and province that depends so much on newcomers to immigrate and establish lives and families here to help support the population, I think this is just absurd! It’s like telling a guest to come over and stay, permanently, that they are welcome. But then you turn around to belittle them and make them feel so unwelcome with every chance you get. “I don’t like the way you look/dress/think/lead your life – you are below me! – but keep paying me rent and respect me.”

How can this proposed change benefit anyone in this province?

It doesn’t! It actually creates anger between groups, encourages the “us vs them” mentality that is already poisoning this society, will cause further segregation between groups rather than encouraging people to integrate and contribute to society, will increase the jobless rate and will lead to loss of manpower to other provinces.

That means that your 8, 12, 17 hour wait in the emergency room could increase! Why? Because it would seem that being cared for by a doctor with a kippa is unacceptable.

On an endless waiting list for a daycare spot for your little munchkin? Wait a little longer, why don’t you? It would seem a woman wearing a hijab is unfit to care for your child.

Like feeling safe at home? Well, worry no more! That menace to society, turbaned police officer has been sent packing and criminals will be freer to roam your neighbourhood now! (I hope you can hear the sarcasm)

Remember that freaking awesome French teacher you had? Well, she’s been sacked too – turns out her cross was too big.

 

In a province where emergency room wait times are now averaging 19 hours. Where parents are knocking door-to-door and waiting months before they can find a subsidized a day daycare spot (and the quality isn’t all that great either). Where the dropout rate in high schools is set at average of 29%. Where crime has hit its lowest numbers in about 40 years (nationally) due to better tactics and hard work by officers and the justice system… Have we forgotten that we accept immigrants not our of “pity” but out of need? Who else is going to support our ageing population? Quebecers don’t reproduce enough to create the jobs and workers needed to support our asses and all the services we demand!

So why in the world do we want to discourage people from public service? Why chase them away? In all honesty, the last time you went to the hospital, or to get your license renewed, or had a police officer answer your call – did you get your panties in a bunch because the person serving you was wearing some form of religious symbol? I, myself, couldn’t care less as long as I am getting my service and as long as the person is dressed in a professional and clean manner.

 

Another question: Everyone here pays taxes for services provided by the government, no? I highly doubt people wearing religious symbols have some form of tax exemption – At least I’ve never heard of one. So why pay taxes to an entity that wants to actually take away your rights and freedoms? It’s like paying to get slapped in the face!

 

I’m honestly angry from all sides when it comes to this issue. As a Québecoise (or Francophone), I cannot believe that people still have this “us vs them” mentality. The whole “Le Québec aux Québecois” thing never made any sense to me – it’s a province built on immigrants. I guess people are quick to forget that the French were colonizers who took over the land of the Natives. Then came the English, and others followed. All contributed in some way, shape, or form to make Québec and Canada what it is today. Look at what we have all created. Look at the diversity – it is one of the most beautiful gifts Allah has given us.

So it pains me to hear what some of my fellow Francophones say. And I take it to heart even more because I am a Muslim. They would have me limited as to employment and segregated the day I choose to cover my hair. And how would they look at and treat our children? They will not have Francophone names, they may even look Arab, and I hope they will be good, practicing Muslims (insha’Allah)… Should they be discriminated against simply because they aren’t 100% pure Québecois “de souche”? Because they may wear a religious symbol?

 

How much farther would you like this to go? Not allowing people to speak any other language other than French in public? How about limiting jobs to only certain races? It sounds ludicrous, but it’s really not far off.

I thought our laws prevented against job discrimination based on race, religion, age. Isn’t this discrimination? By refusing gainful employment to someone solely on the basis of religious symbols?

 

Do we not have better issues to deal with?

  • Unemployment – about 5000 jobs were lost in Québec last month while other provinces showed an increase in jobs!
  • Emergency room wait times – 21 hours in Montréal, 17 in the rest of the province.  Why? A doctor and nurse shortage due to crap salaries and conditions and restrictions.
  • Lack of family doctors – many people do not have family doctors. Again, salaries, conditions and restrictions.
  • Medical specialists – did you know that you can easily wait 6 months to see a specialist in our wonderful province? What if you had cancer? Wouldn’t 6 months possibly make all the difference between life and death?
  • Subsidized day care – parents are constantly searching for a spot, waiting months to get one and the quality of service isn’t all that much to write home about.
  • Corruption – if you haven’t heard about the Charbonneau commission, I suggest you check it out! Our tax dollars are lining the pockets of the political elite and their buddies. Who knew?!
  • Education – cuts in elementary, high school and continuing education but no increase in tuition to make up for it. How well is that going to bode? Already, McGill is no longer Canada’s top University. That didn’t take long! Again, did you not see the high school dropout rate posted above?
  • Quebec debt – Seems it’s at about $258 billion. No problem there, right?

 

I’ll stick with this very simple way of summing it all up:

“Simple minds are distracted by simple things”

 

Anyone in Ontario looking to hire a graphic designer/translator and a procurement manager? I’m so sick of this xenophobic province!

 

 

Here’s a link to a petition, if you’re at all interested.

 https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/le-gouvernement-qu%C3%A9b%C3%A9cois-parti-qu%C3%A9b%C3%A9cois-arreter-le-projet-de-loi-la-charte-des-valeurs-du-qu%C3%A9bec

And here’s what I wrote as my comment:

Ceci ne profite aucunement à notre société, ça ne fait que diviser les gens.

SVP, passons aux vrais problèmes : temps d’attente et services de la santé, éducation, création d’emplois, endettement, accès aux services, corruption, etc.

NOTRE GOUVERNEMENT TENTE DE NOUS DISTRAIRE AVEC DES CONNERIES! Mme Marois, cessez donc de gaspiller notre temps et notre argent et penchez-vous donc sur les problèmes qui nous touchent! Vous et votre parti ne fait qu’accroître la haîne entre les québecois et de nous faire honte en face du monde entier! 

 

Interested in further reading?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2013/09/10/f-quebec-charter-proposal-constitution.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/08/21/f-charter-quebec-values-jocelyn-maclure.html

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/09/11/kelly-mcparland-quebec-charter-is-an-embarrassment-to-canadian-values-and-human-dignity/

http://www.cjad.com/blog/TommySchnurmacherShow/blogentry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10586945