PQ Violates Human Rights...in the Name of Human Rights?
by gabriel_heuvelink on October 18, 2013 - 3:45pm
In the article "PQ values charter violates human rights law, commission says" by CBC news highlights the fact that the highly controversial Charter of Values proposed by the minority Parti Québécois is in violation of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms adopted by the province in 1975. The proposed Charter of Values would ban the wearing of religious symbols for public employees, and ensure gender equality. The Quebec Commission on Human Rights has proclaimed the government, should it decide to pass the charter, would be violating several fundamental human rights laws and "calls it a misguided attempt at solving a problem that doesn't exist." However, the minister responsible for the Charter, Bernard Drainville has responded by saying that the commission is not on the same page as Quebec society. Jacques Frémont, the commission's chairman said that "it is the most radical proposal modifying the Charter since its adoption" He continues on the subject of wearing religious symbols by saying that “It’s a fundamental right, and the state has an obligation to remain neutral. What that neutrality means is that the state cannot force anyone not to wear religious signs if it is the person’s wish to do so.” The other facet of the Charter is Gender Equality, had caused a conflict between Drainville, who says there have been numerous cases of gender inequality caused by religious differences, whereas Frémont states that “The real issues are access to labour, access to high positions and discrimination against women who are pregnant,"
If it were my way, the Charter would not even exist. In recent news, there has been no question about gender inequality, or problems associated with religious symbols, so why drag up a non-existent problem? To me, this Charter is simply a violation of human rights. Why should anyone be forced to not proclaim their religion? As so many have pointed out, the symbol does not make the person religious. Taking away a hijab or something similar would not make someone less religious, the same as being in a church doesn’t make you Christian. This Charter was proposed under the guise of becoming a more modern society, however, I believe that we are doing the exact opposite, a modern society, to me, is accepting and religion is present, but does not influence the government’s decisions.