Persona Non Grata

An excellent post from Frank, who recently moved from Montreal back to his hometown of Chicago, on the Quebec Charter of Values. I think we have similar perspectives as people who moved from elsewhere to Quebec.

I’ve often thought that I loved Montreal but the overall culture of Quebec left anglophones and allophones out in the cold. But that was never an issue when I connected with the rest of Canada. I speak French well enough and do pay attention to the pop culture to some degree. I think I’m a “good anglo.”

But I just don’t know how to engage with a mindset that sees religious symbols in the public sector as a “problem” to be “solved.”

Chicagoan in Montréal

Yes, once again there has been yet another effort to ‘protect’ Quebec ‘values’ in the news as of late. If I sound cynical that this truly is an effort to protect, it is because during my ten years in Quebec I have heard this repeated in efforts to ostracize all ‘others.

During this most recent debate, there has been a Charter of Quebec Values that has been proposed. The Charter started as a ban against all large displays of religious garb or jewelry by public employees. This includes turbins, hijabs, kippah, and large crosses. It was later diminished to those public employees who might exert authority over others such as judges, police officers, doctors, and daycare workers.

The justifications for the charter include extending secularism and protection of womens rights. Quebec made a strong movement away from religion in the late 60’s and early 70’s and there is concern that…

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One thought on “Persona Non Grata

  1. Thanks, John. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who has had these perceptions. I’ve had the added aspect that my in-laws strongly agree with everything in the charter and don’t understand why anyone is offended by it.

    Despite these current events, I still feel strongly that Montreal is a great city and Quebec is a beautiful province with an amazing culture. I just wish they’d drop this whole offensive against ‘others’.

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