Quebec is known for its religious and cultural diversity. These days, however, we find ourselves (I say “we” and “ourselves” as I’m a Quebecer from Montreal) in a societal crisis as Quebec Premier, Pauline Marois, attempts to put a “Charter of Values” in place that will ban the wearing of any religious symbols in the workplace. These “religious symbols” include anything from Hijabs, kippas, turbans, overly large crucifixes, etc.
The goal of this charter, according to Marois, is to unify Quebecers through their similarities and to protect our cultural history. However, many are chalking it up as a political move to gain more of a majority government, rather than the minority one she currently holds. No matter the reason, Quebec is in upheaval over this controversial charter. Though there are many who are in agreement with the charter, Saturday’s protest in downtown Montreal showed that many of all religions are opposed, denouncing it as unconstitutional.
The above banner reads: “No to this discriminatory charter”
This controversial charter is taking a hold of all Quebec media here in the province as Marois plans to present it as a bill to the legislature this fall. It’s a societal crisis that has everyone talking, debating, arguing and protesting. Only time will reveal how it will all play out.
3 protest images: Ryan Remiorz / La Presse Canadienne
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.