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As speculated, Philippe Couillard has announced he will be retiring from politics. And he’s chosen to base his exit speech on an impassioned plea for minority rights and respect for diversity:

“It’s a fundamental democratic principle. Quebec must remain a welcoming and inclusive society where all are invited to the table — a place where we judge humans for what they have in their heads, not on their heads, and for what they bring us in their hearts.”

M. Couillard, I was never your biggest fan. But you wrapped up your political career with class and dignity. And your plea for minority rights needs to be heard urgently by all Quebecers.


So our new premier-elect, who swept to power last night on votes from people living in places where they’ve probably never met a member of a religious minority, thinks it’s such a priority to ban Quebecois citizens — most of whom live in ridings that DIDN’T vote CAQ — from being able to freely practice their religion that he’s willing to overrule the constitution in order to do so:

But when asked by reporters about the notwithstanding clause and his immigration policy, he didn’t back down. 

“I think that the vast majority of Quebecers, they would like to have a framework where people in an authority position must not wear a religious sign,” Legault said.

Political leaders generally have been reluctant to use the notwithstanding clause, which is viewed by many as politically perilous.

Let me break it down for people who are still wondering about this religious symbols thing: The state being neutral on religion doesn’t require every PERSON in the state to be religiously neutral, any more than the state being neutral on gender requires people working for the state to cut off their genitals.

The effect of this nonsense will be to effectively ban members of religious minorities from many sectors of the workforce, or to force them to make the impossible choice between practicing their faith or having a job. It will heighten xenophobia and pander to the racist majority — who are so butthurt over the notion that someone may choose to wear a scarf on her head that they made this issue into a voting priority — over the basic human rights of minorities. And it will perpetuate the notion that only white, Christian, ‘pur-laine’ Quebecers have rights in this province.

I’m so unbelievably disgusted with my fellow citizens right now. How could this guy be our new premier?


It could always be worse


It’s December 31st again. But it’s been no typical year. This time last year, I wondered whether we were a little too eager to leap from the frying pan into the fire. One year later, I can say unequivocally: I was right. Even just a short list of what’s happened in the USA the past […]

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Bill 62: Quebecois xenophobia at its worst


As white supremacists march in the streets in the US, we can’t feel too smug here. Racism is, sadly, alive and well right in our home province, as the Liberal government chooses this moment to revive the debate about religious headgear. Bill 62, the so-called anti-niqab bill, is being touted by the Liberals as a […]

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