18 November 2014

Lessons from the Quebec Charter of Values - Winnipeg Free Press

Lessons from the Quebec Charter of Values - Winnipeg Free Press

For instance, evidence from this past spring indicates that average
Quebecers rate immigrants as 51 on a scale that ranges from 0 (meaning
"really dislike") to 100 (meaning "really like"), 10 points lower than
in the fall of 2012 when Premier Pauline Marois and the PQ government
were first elected. Moreover, findings also indicate that Quebecers'
average ratings of more specific groups such as ethnic minorities,
allophones and racial minorities are now much more negative than they
were two years before. Our data also indicate that francophones and
independentistes, core components of Quebec society, have even more
negative perspectives toward these groups. In other words, these
attitudes cannot only be attributed to the more extreme views in Quebec

In terms of more specific
feelings of trust, our evidence shows that most Quebecers are only
"somewhat" trusting of "people from other countries" and that trust
levels have also declined by 10 per cent since Marois came to power.
This is particularly significant given that religious neutrality was the
stated intention of the proposed Values Charter. More striking still
are the findings that, since the Charter's proposal, Quebecers are even
less trusting of "people of another religion" and they are particularly
untrusting of those "who wear overt religious symbols." Once again, the
major segments of Quebec society -- francophones and independentistes --
stand out as being among the least trusting of these groups overall.

Lastly, when asked if they spend time with "people who were not born
here," most Quebecers indicate that they do this only a "few times a
year or not at all" as opposed to more regularly. Moreover, our data
indicate that Quebecers in general, and francophones and
independentistes in particular, are even less inclined to frequently
"spend time with people who wear overt religious symbols." These
findings are particularly relevant as they reveal an important
underlying impasse in one major region of this country in the ongoing
experiment with pluralism.

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