16 January 2014

Charte de la laïcité: le Barreau propose le statu quo, regrette Drainville | Paul Journet

Charte: le Barreau propose le statu quo, regrette Drainville | Paul Journet | Charte de la laïcité

M. Drainville soutient que le Barreau a négligé les modifications proposées à la charte québécoise des droits, un texte quasi constitutionnel. On y ajouterait la laïcité et la neutralité de l'État, ce dont les juges devraient désormais compte.
Mais pour le Barreau, la neutralité religieuse ne doit pas être confondue avec l'invisibilité de la religion. Elle «favorise au contraire la manifestation harmonieuse des consciences et des croyances individuelles», lit-on dans son mémoire. L'État devrait donc «ni favoriser, ni défavoriser» les croyances religieuses. Cette position rejoint celle du chef libéral Philippe Couillard.
Le Barreau rappelle que selon la jurisprudence, si on limite la liberté de religion, il faut prouver qu'on règle un problème documenté, et non des perceptions. Et il faut ensuite prouver que les moyens pris sont proportionnels à l'objectif, avec une atteinte minimale aux droits. Aucune étude n'a été fournie par le gouvernement, souligne le Barreau. Le ministre Drainville répond qu'on peut aussi légiférer pour défendre des principes.

15 January 2014

The Suburban News | The brutish temper of Quebec’s times

The Suburban News | The brutish temper of Quebec’s times

In December of 2010, this paper first raised the alarm on an OQLF (Office québécois de la langue française) directive to Quebec government agencies. That directive mandated those agencies not to communicate with any business or employer in any language but French. And that included businesses of under 50 employees to whom the Francization provisions of Bill 101 did not even apply ...

We have seen it through the values debate. Not that it should be our greatest concern right now in Quebec, but the government could have put forward reasonable lay regulations that affected only the legislature, courts and security authorities. There is precedent in western law and history for that. But it went as far as it did — into health care, social services and every aspect of our public square – precisely to once again stir up that voting mass of narrow-mindedness from which it seems to draw more and more of its support. It is practicing what the courageous writer Jean-Charles Harvey called — in the time of Duplessis — “La politique de la peur.” ...

 By its actions, the Marois administration is not only violating Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but Quebec’s own protections against linguistic discrimination as well as the UN Covenant on Religious, Ethnic and Linguistic Rights of 1992, which Quebec acquiesced to by reference. Further, whatever one’s position on the language laws, law must never be retroactive. The acquired rights of all must be respected. Respect for acquired rights is a central organizing principle of all civilized systems of law ...

08 January 2014

The Suburban News | Anglophones demanding more respect for English

The Suburban News | Anglophones demanding more respect for English

In the last year, from the perspective of the anglophone community, the main Quebec political battles have been focused on what appears to be the successful fight against the proposed tougher language law Bill 14, and the ongoing fight against the proposed Charter of Quebec Values, which will heat up during upcoming hearings.
But a lesser known battle has been brewing in the last few weeks of 2013 — the battle for more respect for the English language, in areas where such respect might be assumed.
The battles against the provisions of Bill 101 softened in recent years, since the disappearance of the original Equality Party and Alliance Quebec. There have been notable exceptions in the form of “language eruptions,” mainly coming from misjudgments by the Office Québécois de la Langue Française that resulted in the international embarrassments of Pastagate and the frozen yogurt spoon saga

03 January 2014

Graham Fraser: For a ‘foreign body,’ Canada does a lot to include Quebec

Opinion: For a ‘foreign body,’ Canada does a lot to include Quebec

The Quebec government’s minister of international relations, Jean-François Lisée, said recently that Quebecers no longer have a connection to Canada, and that Canada has become a “foreign body.” He is not alone. Former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said something similar a year and a half ago in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation.
I don’t think this is the case.
To begin with, when exactly was this golden age characterized by a Quebec commitment to the rest of Canada? During the First World War?