Maybe Canada Isn't So Multicultural Afterall?

by chelsea-martin on October 15, 2013 - 1:15pm

In an article written by the Canadian Press on October 6th 2013, in the Globe and Mail, it has been stated that numerous past Parti Québécois leaders are against the charter that would ban religious symbols to the public, making protestors feel a little more at ease. Another demonstration against Quebec’s charter of values was held on Sunday in Quebec City and Montreal. One of the organizers of the demonstration taking place in Montreal, C.B. Singh, was pleased to see that many people aren’t in agreement with the plan. He stated that the idea of the premier getting rid of the proposal sooner than later is highly unlikely, but hopefully these demonstrations will make it more difficult to receive support. Jacques Parizeau, Bernard Landry and Lucien Bouchard, former PQ premiers, have stated that the plan needs to be less discriminatory. The proposal is calling to ban the hijab, kippa, turban or prominent crosses to be worn in the public workplace. However, the PQ government is currently a minority and would require the opposing parties to agree in order for the law to pass. Singh has said that he will continue to protest until the plan is abandoned and that as human beings, they are going to fight for their human rights. The purpose of this article was to demonstrate the discrimination being held towards certain cultures in Quebec, as well as the diminishing human rights that the population of Quebec are facing. This is a social issue because people in society should be able to wear what they want and be able to express their individual culture, however in Quebec; people are close to not being allowed to do this, which is not how society should be.

            I feel that this is a growing problem in Quebec. Canada is supposed to be a multicultural country, where people are accepted and are not required to assimilate to the main culture this country holds. However if this law is passed that will not be the case, people will be forced to assimilate which is not what Canada stands for. I feel that the premier is only thinking about her own views in this situation and not looking out for the intentions of society. By making this law, many people will feel discriminated on and will not want to live in a society where they cannot be themselves. Many religions and cultures require public demonstration, and by getting rid of that, the premier is not allowing religions to be expressed and it will cause many people to wish to leave the province. I feel that the protests will indeed diminish the public support for this proposal and will hopefully allow the opposing parties to realize that it is not a good idea for the society of Quebec. However, I feel that sometimes protests are not enough and in the end the laws are passed just the same. Yet, would it be possible for officials of other provinces in Canada to state their beliefs and try to help abandon this law? Perhaps with the help of the rest of the country, the problem this law is creating will become clearer in the eyes of the PQ government.


I think that this is a very interesting topic seeing as though I am from Montreal and it is a social issue that is making headlines around the world. It is obviously a very controversial subject that brings forth the issue of discrimination. I myself do not agree with the charter that would ban religious symbols to the public. I think it takes away from our basic human rights. I think that the demonstrations that are taking place throughout Montreal and Quebec City are good things. It shows that the population cares enough about the matter to stand up and have a voice. They will not let the government pass laws which they do not believe in. I think that the fact that numerous former Parti Quebecois leaders were also against the charter to be very interesting. Hopefully with the support of former leaders, the protesters will have a better chance at having their voices heard by the government and the law will not be passed. I agree in saying that Canada is a very multicultural country. We should therefore pride ourselves in that instead of trying to assimilate everyone to one main culture.

I totally agree with you, I personally, do not practice any sort of religion, though, I believe that people should have the right to wear their religion since it is very important for them. For some people, religion is what makes them who they are and taking away their right to express their religion would in sort, take away their right to express themselves. I am conscious that for security and criminal reasons, if a man who's face is completely covered with their turban commits a crime, it is much harder for the police to find this guy since he may look exactly like another man wearing the same cover up. It really depends on the situation I believe. Though, in general, I think that they should be allowed to wear the hijab, kippa or any other sort of symbol. The government is even banning the wear of crosses, people cannot wear a necklace with a cross. I find that is pushing it since the cross can just be around the neck and is not hiding the face or what so ever.

First of all, I agree with you and I also find the charter discriminative. At the end of you comment, you wonder about what has to be done and by whom. Your raised the point that maybe other provinces should interfere. However, I do not think that this would help since most people would probably think that outsiders should mind their own business. I think that information campaigns about the issue could really help. Indeed, I feel like many people do not understand all of what the charter implies and maybe good information could bring people to realize the impacts that the charter could have on our society. At the end, I believe that is every citizens of Quebec has the right to manifest their concerns about the matter and everyone should consider if they want to be part of a society that limits their citizens in their rights to show their allegiance to a religion.

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