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Lecture 4

Lecture 4- Quebec Charter of Values.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Christopher Cochrane

Canadian Political Science: The Quebec Charter of Values History of the Topic • The topic of identity is very important to Quebec since it is the only French Province in Canada. They have always felt that another group could erode their values. There is no crisis, but rather a perception of one. Quebec is divided over religious accommodation. • 4 principles of secularism (Bouchard-Taylor Commission -- 1. Separation Church and State 2. State Neutrality 3. Moral equality of persons 4. Freedom of religion • There is a crucifix in the national assembly (parliament building), and that is controversial. Bouchard and Taylor says that there should be a secularism model for Quebec, meaning political leaders couldn’t favor a religion, but people could still wear their religious symbols to school. This is one way of looking at how religion functions in a society. The Argument of the Government • State neutrality is a liberal idea. It seeks to intervene as little as possible into the religious practices of an individual. The current Quebec government wants to become more secular and makes three main arguments: 1. Decisions made by public officials are more likely to be perceived as impartial and a good decision if they do not wear obvious religious clothing. 2. The mere displaying of religions on a daily basis promotes it, and they do not want that (within schools). 3. Public officials representing the state must embody gender equality, and therefore they shouldn’t wear cloth
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