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Nuremberg 1935: Quebec 2019

June 17th, 2019 · 14 Comments

The similarities are startling … and frightening.

Legislation passed … in fact, RUSHED THROUGH without full discussion/debate in the Quebec legislature Sunday night … actually singles out racial/religious minorities for TARGETTED discrimination and exclusion in ways quite SIMILAR to the early racist laws of Nazi Germany.

Most people think of the Nuremberg Laws as the anti-Jewish legislation passed by the Reichstag Sept. 15, 1935 that “forbade marriages and extramarital intercourse between Jews and Germans and the employment of German females under 45 in Jewish households … and declared that only those of German or related blood were eligible to be Reich citizens” (Wikipedia).

That prohibition was later amended to include Gypsies (Romani) and all blacks … and that adds to the danger: once the public gets used to singling out and discriminating against ANY group, expanding that to others later becomes much easier.

BUT what most today do not recall or do not know is that, in April, 1933 … two years earlier than the more infamous Nuremberg Laws … the Reichstag had first passed the “Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service” prohibiting “non-Aryans” from working in the legal profession and civil service.

Remarkably similar to what QUEBEC HAS NOW DONE … excluding from hiring for ANY public service jobs ALL observant Jews, Sikhs, Muslims who feel commanded by their faith to wear a religious head-covering.

Now, we’re NOT just talking burkas here (the total head/face covering with only two eye slits) … which are prohibited for security reasons in several states/businesses etc.

Quebec has TARGETTED the Jewish skullcap, Sikh turban and Muslim hijab headscarf … BARRING anyone wearing them from being hired to work for the government or any of its agencies (hospitals, labs, schools, police forces, ambulances, fire services, courts etc. ) in ANY capacity.

Really?

Should a doctor or a teacher or even a school crossing guard be barred from a job because he or she feels compelled by God to wear a religious headgear?

Not in my world.

Wearing a cross, a star of David or any other religious symbol … as personal jewelry … will also be banned, but these are decorative, not usually worn as a religious requirement … so that’s not as outrageous as barring those whose simple head garb is an actual part of their faith.

A person’s proven ability, strength of character, honesty and integrity should be ALL any government/agency should care about in doing ANY hiring.

And THAT is all we should demand our “leaders” do … not single out the few to be discriminated against.

As French-Algerian author/philosopher Nobel Prize winner Albert Camus wrote, the essence of “democracy is not the rule of the majority, but the protection of the minority.”

Amen! (Oops! Am bloggers allowed to say that anymore?)

And by the way, just as there were TWO Nuremberg infamous anti-minority laws passed in the Reichstag in 1935, there was a SECOND infamous anti-minority law passed Sunday in Quebec as well.

Bill 9 “reforms” Quebec’s immigration system to require prospective permanent residents to take a “values test” to make sure they fit in.

Fit into what? How? By whose standards? Who will design the tests? Who will decide who passes? Political hacks appointed to committees? Racists or anti-Semites with political connections? Separatists?

I dare say MANY, MANY “pure lain” … old time white, francophone rural Quebecois …. with their history of decades old anti-Semitism, bigotry against blacks, Asians, Muslims, even Anglais generally … wouldn’t pass MY values test. Maybe THEIR citizenship should be revoked?

What is to STOP the co-mixing of the bigotry behind the TWO new Quebec laws, so that anyone wearing a skullcap, turban or hijab clearly doesn’t reflect Quebec’s “values” and is thus disqualified from residency status?

Would any of us here in BC stand still if, to live here, we had to pass “values tests” designed by ANY government … or its bureaucrats … or its friends “in the community”?

Making it even worse, while Quebec draws up ITS new subjective tests criteria, it is tearing up 16,000 immigration residency applications already before it … from people who have been waiting up to two years: they’ll all have to start over.

Another gesture to make sure immigrants to Canada who landed in Quebec feel unwelcome.

Nuremberg’s Nazis would be impressed.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: British Columbia · International · National

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Art Smith // Jun 17, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    Hi Harvey, wow, what a can of worms you have just opened. I believe if it had been any other province (maybe Alberta for example) that had enacted this, Trudeau, Butts, (yes I know he “quit”) Telford, Freeland and the whole cabinet would have been howling for blood and calling them Nazis, racists and the whole litany of Liberal insults that go along with anything they are aggrieved about, but not Quebec, there is an election coming up you know, so softly, softly. I will be very surprised if any of them say anything other than platitudes of the most inoffensive type so as not to rile the Quebecois. After all 75 seats are up for grabs and that’s the most important thing.

    (Response: All four federal party leaders have criticized the Quebec legislation, but I agree with you …IF it had happened in BC or Alberta etc. we’d be hearing a LOT MORE outrage and less pussyfooting around by our federal “leaders” . Not only should Quebec Premier Francois Legault be condemned LOUDLY … but so should all the francophone/nationalist bigots he is playing too … who have a LONG history of being anti-Semites, anti black, anti Chinese, anti Muslim … and even anti English… you know, those who are not seen as “pure lain” (pure wool) .. even if their families have lived in Quebec 200 years! Time to call them out ..not cater to them. h.o)

  • 2 Jay // Jun 17, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Sadly, welcome to 2019. It is beyond amazing that people are targeting certain individuals. Now some may blame certain people or certain groups but the reality is that it has been going on for a long time and we have unfortunately let it happen. Nuremburg showed us the extreme of what hate and discrimination can do. But sadly the new generations have not learned a thing because they hve not been shown what happened all so few year ago. Personally i watch video on WWII and al the horrors that occurred during that time but our new kids don’t even understand that a holocaust occurred. They are so spoon fed nonsense by the current governments that they think that there was no holocaust. They have no idea what Normandy was. Pearl harbor..a pipe dream. The 50 million that died as a result of WWII.. totally forgotten. Not even a reality to some. This is why this nonsense occurs. Our schools no longer teach history. Or if they do it is so sanitized that our children have no idea how bad things can be. For Quebec to pick and choose who can work in government and what they can wear is typical. They have been a thorn in Canada’s side for a lot of time. Like the fact that they speak a terrible version of french and force us all to have dual language makes them better. Leave then. You have threatened it for decades..Doors there..go.
    And gee they still get too decide our leaders….glad i’m not a minority but will stick up for them all.

    (Response: What many people do not realize is that the Nuremberg laws did not come from nowhere: there was a “softening up” period that began years before … separating out, denigrating and removing from public institutions the Nazis’ scapegoats. First they were the Jews; then that expanded to include Roma (gypsies) and blacks; but before they were done, the list of undesirables and unacceptable expanded to a lengthy list, based not only birth or religion, but even thought (values?). Disgraceful … and Quebec IS indeed moving in that direction …not away from it. h.o)

  • 3 D. M. Johnston // Jun 18, 2019 at 7:24 am

    Actually, our neighbours to the South will be very impressed.

    Xenophobia is a very dangerous if not checked by strong laws and I will wager the supreme court will overturn the laws, much to the delight of the law profession who stand to make hundreds of millions of dollars with this.

    This brings up the hoary issue of religion and religious icons.

    I am not religious, though I am not atheist and I do believe we should curb the use of religious icons in public, specially in government service.

    I also believe that religious schools, of all faiths, should be banned due to the fact I perceive them as indoctrination centres.

    As I said, religion is a hoary subject and Quebec is opening the door with it.

    As an aside, I have never understood antisemitism and I still can’t my head around why people are anti Jewish. As I age, I am getting intolerant of intolerant people.

    I do not care as it is none of my business which church, synagogue, mosque or temple one worships at, but when laws are done to cater to specific religions I begin to take notice.

    Anyways, I have never had a Sihk, Muslim, Buddhist or Jewish person knock at my door to tell me the “good news”, and try to give me pamphlets I do not want.

    (Response: It’s an issue that really must not be judged by each of us on whether we ourselves are religious. It’s about RESPECTING a person’s right to express/be themselves … whether that’s by wearing a religious symbol, or the way they dress or even cut (or don’t cut) their hair or wear tattoos. In PRIVATE locations (our homes, businesses) we can choose who we associate with … and in public places, I could even understand why not wanting employees to wear large religious symbols or adorn their desks etc with them. BUT for some, wearing a head covering IS part of their faith … and they pay taxes too for all our public services, so if they qualify for a job, then wherever it is possible to accommodate their beliefs, without sacrificing security, or quality of service, it should not be a big deal to do so. Not anywhere in Canada. h.o.)

  • 4 Gene The Bean // Jun 18, 2019 at 8:14 am

    This is a disgusting time in our history. Progressive people the world over are being taken down a slippery slope by those who now seem emboldened to spread their hatred and bigotry openly.

    I take an extended holiday in Mexico every winter and the little village I call home is becoming a southwest suburb of Quebec City. Many refer to it as a take over. I hate to admit it but the Que’s as we call them are for the most part rude, arrogant and xenophobic. The women are actually worse than the men. I would say 10% are what I’d call normal. The rest are, lets just say, not.

    They treat our Mexican hosts like dogs. A local restaurant hired some very gay waiters/waitresses for a day last year to celebrate some local thing that was going on and the Que’s language, actions and treatment of these men and women were disgusting. I was so embarrassed for them. The restaurants owner was literally shocked.

    Not quite sure how to deal with this except to maybe not elect governments that support it in the shadows and put these people back in the holes they emerged from.

    Harvey, I think this is the perfect post to say thank you for discouraging your blog to be used as a bully pulpit by a few people.

    (edited..off topic.)

    Thanks for encouraging and doing the right thing. Removing bullying hate from our lives should be something we all do regularly.

    (Response: As I’ve said before, we must not tar all Quebecois with the same brush: there are MANY (including many francophones) who are embarrassed and disgusted by the bigotry of their fellow citizens. As always, education, urban mixing and exposure to other cultures seems to be the cure for what ails many of the bigots … who I have often found to be uneducated and quite insular. And in Montreal, Sherbrooke and Quebec City, there is much more understanding and acceptance and tolerance of diversity … especially among younger people, who are the hope for the future. In Florida, too we have quite a few Quebecois ..with mixed results. My American friends don’t like many of them …as being loud, rude, crude and cheap tippers. BUT I find some that I know personally where I spend my time as great contributors to our community, who volunteer their time, volunteer their work and are always ready to support/fund improvements etc. The shame of Quebec today is that they now have a government (the Coalition Avenir Quebec) led by a (former?) separatist that is feeding off and supporting fear and division. h.o.)

  • 5 e.a.f. // Jun 18, 2019 at 11:26 am

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

    You’ve said everything I was thinking as the news announced what Quebec had done. The Premier of Quebec looks friendlier than Hitler and so does his young “assistant” who is in charge of “immigration”.

    Quebec is as bad as Trump and his Republicanthugocrats.

    Our Mom used to say, “it can always happen again”. I just don’t think Mom thought it would happen in Canada, because that is why we moved to Canada. Its a good thing she isn’t here to see it.

    If people don’t think it can all happen here, as Harvey outlined, these laws were passed in Germany in 1933 and 1935. Then Hitler rolled into other countries and brought with him “his rules”. In France, at least 75,721 were sent to the death camps. France was invaded 10 May 1940. By 27 March 1942 the first French were being deported to the death camps. The Netherlands was invaded by Germany 10 May 1940 and by 1941 all political parties except the NSB were outlawed. By 1945 WW II was over and millions dead. It didn’t take long for any of this to happen.

    Think of how long Trump has been in office and how ethics have changed in that short 2 years. He’d accept help from a foreign entity to win the up coming election. that thought as one time just didn’t cross most Americans’ mind. It can happen in Canada in the blink of an eye.

    My maternal grandfather was the only one in his large family who did not go to the death camps. Yes, Quebec, some of us do remember and we won’t forgive. As a good old atheist I believe all religions have the right to practise their religion and participate in our society. That means people get to wear their religious symbols and other gear. What will be next? Will the new Quebec laws force married Orthodox Jewish women to stop wearing wigs? We have seen where it can all end. Some during the lead up to WW II thought it would “exempt” them. Its good to remember even members of the Rothschild family went to the death camps and yes killed. Not even all their money helped them avoid it. If you think its only Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindi who this will apply to, remember the Nazi’s eventually got around to any one who opposed them, i.e. Catholic priests, trade unionists, etc.

    The rationale to implement these laws is first to eliminate them from decent jobs, to marginalize them. Once they’re not seen in public or having much “power” the next step will be taken. Most likely housing will be targeted. Those practising their religion, and it bothers the neighbours, they’ll loose their housing. Don’t think it can’t happen, check Burma. When they had the genocide in Cambodia, they targeted the doctors, the educated.
    What Quebec will target next is unknown at this time, but they will have a target.

    We can only hope the Supreme Court of Canada strikes down this law perhaps citing the intent of the Constitution “exemption” clause wasn’t there to enable governments to discriminate against Canadian citizens.

    Thank you Harvey for this post

    (Response: You are absolutely correct when you write: “The rationale to implement these laws is first to eliminate them from decent jobs, to marginalize them.” The impact of discriminatory laws always extends well beyond the actual target: how could these new restrictive laws not make ALL Muslims, ALL Sikhs and ALL Jews feel second-class and unwelcome??? Who could blame them for looking to move elsewhere … where their kids and grandkids could get into professions and government jobs without being stigmatized and BANNED from ANY public jobs if, at any point in their life’s journey, they decide to become more religious. Maybe that’s the REAL goal … get more ethnics to leave …so that if a referendum were ever held again, the deck would be stacked more in favour of it passing. h.o)

  • 6 G. Barry Stewart // Jun 19, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Some here may recall the attempted head-covering ban in Quebec soccer, back 2012-13. FIFA clarified that they are okay, with stipulations, and Quebec soccer had to back down.

    It seems to have settled down, as I can’t find any soccer reference since 2013. Now the mole has popped up elsewhere…

    One story: https://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/quebec-soccer-body-welcomes-fifa-pro-turban-clarification-1.1397184

    (Response: Thanks. I had forgotten that …even though I blogged my outrage about it at the time: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/turban-issue-the-real-message-for-quebecs-separatists/. It all must make minorities feel unwelcome, unappreciated and singled out for discrimination/bigotry .. and maybe that’s the aim of the Quebec racists/separatists … and the “pure” politicians who cater to them. h.o)

  • 7 Gene The Bean // Jun 20, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Harvey in your response at #6 you say “maybe that’s the aim of the Quebec racists/separatists”…. I think that hits the nail right on the head. When you look at almost any other country, those that beat the drum of nationalism and us v/s them are for the most part alt right Cons who believe their race is superior and fear losing that superiority.

    How the Han dominated Chinese treat their hundreds of ethnic minorities – check. How Russians treat their minorities – check. How Trumpistani’s treat black and brown people – check.

    They go hand in hand.

    Lets remember politics is the only job that requires no qualifications. So you get some folks who want the quick buck and crave power and influence so ‘their cause’ is continued. Mix that with racist and nationalist populations that have been convinced that even though they are economically deprived, basically uneducated and trapped – that is better than having more brown people in the country. It is what makes conservatism work and it is obviously in full display in Quebec right now.

    It is truly ironic though as Quebec has a complete welfare mentality but is also very conservative. I guess that only makes sense when you figure it out in bastardized French.

    You have a lot of insights into the Quebec mindset Harvey and I for one would like to hear what you think. Would also like to see some comments from those that have lived there and who have Quebecois connections.

    My brother-in-law is from New Brunswick and speaks fluent Quebecois French. I have asked him multiple times and his replies seem to always flirt on the line of overt racism and having a superiority complex while knowing they are not actually superior. He says the phrase ‘bite your nose off to spite your face’ was made for a Quebecer. He also says it is hard for people to understand that haven’t lived there. I think hearing more from those that have would be good for all of us.

    (Response: Quebec is like any other place: where people are fairly well educated/travelled and live/associate with others of different cultures, most will get along quite well or at least be somewhat tolerant, if not exactly friendly/welcoming; but in places where people are less educated/travelled and live pretty well only among their own isolated from other groups, they end up being insular, fearful and prejudiced. In Quebec, this was all reinforced when the English ran the economy/businesses, discriminated against the French and the French themselves were dominated by their own bigoted corrupt politicians and the Catholic Church which further isolated them. It was really a historic mess! After the quiet revolution of the 1960s, things changed quite a bit; the francophones are now in charge and their culture is dominant. But the old isolationist/prejudiced psyche remains with many … especially in rural areas … where Muslims, blacks, Sikhs and Jews (even those who speak French very, very well) are still largely seen as “outsiders” … and sadly not accepted as easily as they are elsewhere in the country. And of course, the nationalist/racist separatist politicians are HAPPY to cater to and exploit those fears … and, I believe, would be HAPPY if these minorities left … to sweeten the chances of winning a future independence vote. My hope is that, as Quebecois become better educated, more travelled and, thanks to social media etc., more exposed to other cultures … tolerance will grow, fear will diminish … and, most Quebecois might actually reach a degree of sophistication/respect and acceptance of people who are “different” that most people in other parts of Canada achieved 20 years ago! h.o)

  • 8 SG // Jun 21, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Gene The Bean #4: I know exactly where you’re coming from, I too spend my winters on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Yes there are many good people that call Quebec home, unfortunately the dregs of Quebec society for what ever reason like to spend their winters in Mexico, they are universally despised by all, and a complete embarrassment to the rest of us Canadians. I’ve walked into restaurants in PV and sat myself at a table next to tables of people from Quebec, once the tables of Québécois realized I was an English speaking Canadian from BC they tried to have the waiter move me to a different section of the restaurant. Yes they are extremely ignorant and arrogant.

  • 9 e.a.f. // Jun 21, 2019 at 10:06 am

    It was almost comical to read news about the Quebec premier and the bill. It was reported he said, he could have made it worse. That indicates to me, he knows this bill is bad.
    The article further reported he knew some in the province were a “little racist”. In my books you’re either racist or you’re not. A little racist, can be a whole lot of racist. It depends what end of things you’re on. He and some of his may think banning teachers, police officers, etc, from wearing a hajab is “only a little racist”, but if you’re the woman wearing the head covering, its a whole lot of racism. Women will leave the province.

    What I find so funny about the objections to the hajab, which is only a cover for one’s hair, is at one time we (those of European descent) did it. I can remember a time women didn’t go into a church without their hair covered. Some didn’t go out without their hats or scarves.

    While channel surfing the other day ran across an old western with a woman standing at a grave. The time depicted would have been after the civil war, 1864. Not only was the woman wearing a shirt to her feet, but her head scarf, which not only covered her hair, but her shoulders. You don’t see Muslim women wearing that much these days, unless they’re wearing a niqab.

    It is not until the 1920s when we see a change in fashion that women start to wear shorter skirts. In the early 1970s there were still places women were not permitted to wear “pant suits” and it didn’t matter how expensive they were. Wasn’t it just a few months ago it was determined women could wear sleeveless tops at the leg.
    Laws have always tried to control what women wore. It may be 2019, but there are still those in society who want women to wear what they, usually men want them to wear.

    I can remember a time when men who didn’t wear ties would be prohibited from entering a club or restaurant, but put on the ugliest piece of material and you were in. Women had to met much more stringent dress codes. While all of us are feeling smug, it wasn’t that long ago, I remember it, when women were not permitted to enter specific private men’s clubs in Vancouver.

    Quebec, is taking the long view. By forcing minorities to leave the province or never come there, when they take the next “leave Canada’ vote, they will win.

    This Bill has created a two zone Canada. That is never good for a country or its culture. Their position this is to create a secular culture, good luck with that. I didn’t believe it then and I don’t believe it now. You can bet your next pension cheque or cruise, “Christian cross wearers’ won’t be called out. it will be referred to as a fashion statement. Though the premier of quebec denied it, they will create a “police” force to enforce this, just as they have a “language” police force. Some of us clearly remember some of the “shit” which went on back then. On the other hand, Quebec’s loss will be the rest of Canada’s gain.

    I do sometimes wonder what Quebec would do if an Indigenous person wore something of religious/cultural significance to them. They were of course here first.

    (Response: I too remember lots of old European grandmothers in my childhood Montreal wearing “babushkas” … headscarfs … and no one thought anything about it. Today, in Quebec, however I guess Pope Francis or even Canada’s top Roman Catholic cardinal, Quebec City Archbishop Marc Ouellet, couldn’t be hired as teachers to instruct on religion! Ridiculous hateful laws! h.o)

  • 10 Gene The Bean // Jun 21, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks Harvey. Your reply has really explained some deep seated angst that is no doubt behind some of the things going on. A lot of these feelings and issues are no doubt passed onto future generations around the dinner table too.

    Fear is a huge motivator and it is purposefully used by unscrupulous people to get what they want at all levels of society. We see every day how the Cons use it in ads and in their speeches.

    Had an interesting chat about a term widely used today – xenophobia. Most seem to thing it is a fear of immigrants or people of colour when actually it is just a fear of ‘things different’. Personally I have always embraced different things, it makes the world an interesting place. I do know people though who want to continually do the same thing, eat the exact same meals, have the same experiences, at the same places, over and over. They don’t want to have anything different at all. They are also for the most part all inwardly focused (nice way of saying selfish) and much more on the conservative side of things compared to a lot of my circle. So basically they are xenophobes and have these strange (to me) deep seated fears and that is why they act (and vote) the way they do. I find that really interesting. They probably “know” there are better choices – but they are afraid or have anxiety over ‘things different’ than themselves.

    It appears a large percentage of Quebecers, by definition, are also xenophobes. Like you say, with more exposure and more experiences hopefully the tolerance will grow and the fear will diminish.

    Sooner the better.

    (Response: I think one of the best things about living in BC is the diversity … esp rewarding us with a terrific variety of restaurants!! 🙂 But of course, citizenship and residency/acceptance/welcoming comes with responsibilities too … we should be able to expect immigrants to respect OUR customs and our laws too … and leave their old prejudices/hatreds where they came from let’s keep it real, not all do that very well. But by far, most do … and have contributed well to our society …even while wearing headscarfs, skullcaps and turbans! h.o)

  • 11 Gene The Bean // Jun 22, 2019 at 10:22 am

    SG #8 I hear ya, I don’t like to beat the drum about it but I have seen far too many totally classless acts to think most of them are anything but rude and crude louts.

    Harvey’s reply at #7 goes a long way in understanding the behaviours and what might be behind some of it but basically when you act rude and crude – it is because you are rude and crude.

    You’ll enjoy this one ….. the majority of my time away I am usually alone. I was sitting in the primo table (seats four) of a small beachfront restaurant against the railing, overlooking the tables and umbrellas below me on the beach.

    I sensed someone standing beside me and there were five people looking at me, one guy started blabbering away in a somewhat aggressive tone, in French. I let him finish and told him sorry I don’t speak French. Another guy piped up and asked if I was Canadian, I said yes. He said then I should speak French and I said to the first guy – then you should speak English.

    Anyways, after a little back and forth the guy ‘told’ me to move to another table because there are more of them, I am ‘just one’ and they want that table. The restaurant was basically empty, plenty of other tables. I asked him are you asking me, or telling me and he flipped out with the red face, yelling and screaming, arms waving, a full on ‘tablanac’ tantrum – in a restaurant.

    I told them that if they asked me nicely, I would have moved, as I was almost finished my beer anyways. But now, you have to wait. One of the women, speaking almost perfect English leaned in and essentially spat in my face saying “it is always the same, the English just hate the French.”

    I said, “Au contraire madam, the English just hate a$$holes.”

    I had to sit there another hour drinking beer until they left. The restaurants owners son, who was on shift refused to let me pay for the beers. He said it was nice to finally see ‘the frenchies’ get a little of their own medicine.

    The Que’s seem predisposed to be upset, unhappy and angry. Like Harvey says, they are insular and fearful right off the bat.

    It is too bad because what they are doing now with their overt prejudices is just sending signals to the rest of Canada that ‘they are different’ and ‘they don’t care’ about fitting into Canadian norms.

    (Response: Of course, there are many, many very nice francophones … and like most other groups, the educated and the younger ones or those better exposed to other races, cultures, religious minorities are the hope for the future. The bigots and miscreants, in my experience, tend to be less educated, older and frankly, fairly unsophisticated … prime fodder for racist xenophobic politicians, separatists …. and demagogues. h.o)

  • 12 Keith // Jun 22, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    I cut this from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    Fundamental Freedoms
    Marginal note:Fundamental freedoms
    2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

    (a) freedom of conscience and religion;

    (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

    (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

    (d) freedom of association.

    I’m not a lawyer, but It seems to me that under “B” wearing a religious headcovering would be a freedom of belief and expression. Not sure if any of the parties would want to touch this before the election, but I will be waiting for a position by any of them.

    (Response: Unfortunately Quebec’s legislation contains a provision allowing the province to invoke the “notwithstanding” clause of the Constitution … allowing it to over-ride the provisions of the Charter you cite. It’s too bad our federal “leaders”, other politicians and our media are already backing away from pressuring/embarrassing Quebec on this … the way I’m sure they would if it had been Alberta or BC that passed such discriminatory and ethnic-cleansing laws. The people of Hong Kong could teach the thinking people of Montreal HOW to keep the pressure on Trudeau, Scheer, Singh, May and EVERY Quebec MP and MNA to “suspend” and/or withdraw these racist laws. h.o.)

  • 13 Keith // Jun 22, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks for the clarification Harvey, comment 12,

    but surely here must be something in Federal law that deals with this.

    (Response: I’d bet the CAQ government introduced these laws now because there’s a federal election looming and they know NONE of the federal parties or leaders have the backbones to make a BIG deal of this for fear of alienating the large number of xenophobic, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic Quebec voters who LIKE the law … and especially those would be happy to see all these “outsiders” leave. The hope right now would be for ethnic and human rights groups to launch court cases …and try to get injunctions to suspend the law pending the legal outcomes: and then hope continuing pressures/backlash will take their toll (on Quebec businesses, conventions, tourism) or that the suspension could last until/after the next election… and hopefully the CAQ racists/separatists will lose. h.o)

  • 14 Len G // Jun 23, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    It is sad to witness the persistence in our society of the racism and xenophobia that seems to be a permanent part of our political culture. It is shameful to see politicians exploiting these human weaknesses in order to gain political power. It is most depressing of all to contemplate a future in which politicians who do this will continue to have influence over people’s lives.

    (Response: Absolutely agree with you: I’m not only unhappy/disappointed with politicians who exploit prejudices/fears but also with those who stay silent or say very little and then try to ignore it. Unfortunately, the victims of racism …especially LEGISLATED DISCRIMINATION … cannot just ignore it … they must live with it; their job opportunities are limited by it; their kids must suffer from it; and they have to live in fear, wondering what will be next? I hope activists and politicians with backbones will organize protests, marches and governments/hospitals/employers will IGNORE, DISOBEY and REFUSE TO ENFORCE Quebec’s racist laws. h.o)