The Green Party of Quebec is an ardent defender of the rights and freedoms of all. As a result, we strongly oppose the “secularism” bill introduced by the Legault government and Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette.
This manoeuvre is the result of a xenophobic trend that is increasingly present in Quebec. This trend is largely due to right-wing media and political opportunism.
“Today, I am ashamed of my government,” said Alex Tyrrell, leader of the Green Party of Quebec. “The Government of Quebec is attacking religious minorities, our fundamental rights and individual freedoms. This bill will legalize discrimination in the workplace, which is against both the Canadian Constitution and the Quebec Charter Rights. By doing so, the Government of Quebec will increase social tensions, empower extreme right-wing organizations and contribute to increased discrimination in employment across Quebec. It is not the role of government to legislate on the appearance and clothing of citizens in a free and democratic society. »
The Green Party of Québec is strongly opposed to the use of the notwithstanding clause, which will suspend our fundamental rights. “The use of the notwithstanding clause to allow the government employ discriminatory hiring practices is an unfortunate act that will severely damage Quebec’s reputation on the international stage. It conveys the message that Quebec is a closed society, governed by a right-wing populist government that fuels social tensions in order to divide citizens. This is unacceptable and the Green Party of Quebec will be on the ground opposing the bill in solidarity with affected communities and progressive people across the province” said Aziza Dini, spokesperson for diversity and inclusion for the Green Party of Quebec.
As for the arguments claiming that the bill in question will put an end to the debate concerning religious “accommodation,” the leader of the Green Party is unequivocal: “Right wing nationalists, xenophobes and the extreme right will never be satisfied with such a measure. Although those who promote violence against minority groups are applauding the government’s actions right now, they will never be satisfied and they will always want to go further,” he says. “What will be the next steps, legislating on what we can wear on the street? Preventing people from accessing their classrooms? Prohibiting places of worship? Passing laws that suspend fundamental rights is a slippery slope and we should be aware the consequences such a bill can have on Quebec society. I ask Prime Minister Legaut and his accomplice, Minister Jolin-Barrette, to back down and abandon their xenophobic bill now. »