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SOSC 2350 (17)

The Bouchard-Taylor Report

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Social Science
SOSC 2350
Dena Demos

Building The FutureA time for Reconciliation The BouchardTaylor Report IntroductionQuebecers are divided on the question of accommodation and a number of related topics o Namely the promotion of French and equality between women and menSecularism proves to be highly controversialThe meaning of this report is reconciliation in the spirit of compromise balance and fairnessSection 1The Commission AMandate On February 8 2007 Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced the establishment of the Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural DifferenceThe order of the council stipulates that it has a mandate to o Take stock of harmonization practices in Quebec o Analyze the issues bearing in mind the experience of other societies o Conduct an extensive consultation o Formulate recommendations to the government to ensure that accommodation practices conform to the values of Quebec society as a pluralistic democratic and egalitarian society The narrow sense of the mandate would consist of confining the Commissions deliberations to the strictly legal dimension of reasonable accommodation o This notion indicates a form of arrangement or relaxation aimed at ensuring respect for the right to equality in particular combating indirect discrimination which following the strict application an institutional standard infringes an individuals right to equality The meaning of this has gone beyond the legal definition and now encompasses all forms of arrangements allowed by managers in public or private institutions in respect of students patients customers etcThe second approach to the mandate is to perceive the debate on reasonable accommodation as the symptom of a more basic problem concerning the sociocultural integration model established in Quebec since 1970 o This calls for a review of interculturalism immigration secularism and the theme of Quebec identityThis is done in order to grasp the problem at its source and rom all angles with particular emphasis on its economic and social dimensionso There is no mention of Natives in the mandate however BOur InvestigationThe Commission had 5 millionThey commissioned 13 research projects conducted by specialists from different Quebec universitieso A number of research instruments were developed including a typology designed to classify the arguments in the briefs submitted They organized 31 focus groups with individuals from different milieus in Montreal and other regions They also held 59 meetings with experts and representatives of sociocultural organizationsIn terms of consultation they offered four provincewide forums in MontrealThe commission held sessions in 15 regions for a total of 31 days f hearing o The public submitted over 900 briefso There were 241 participants who testified o 22 regional forums were organized o The Commissions website received over 400000 visits CGeneral Orientations of the report 1 They will not propose breaks or radical shiftsa For each of the themes examined their reflections and proposals will reflect Quebecs sociocultural development b The reason for orientation is that the foundations of collective life in Quebec are not in a critical situation but instead need to adaptc Also their society is sufficiently divided at present and must seek to reduce split and tensions instead of exacerbating themi The time has come for compromise negotiation and balance2 They will conduct their analysis and elaborate the recommendations in respect of Quebec over all rather than only Montreal despite most immigrants locating in Montral 3 They will emphasize citizen action and the responsibility of individual and community interveners to encourage deliberation free initiative and creativity in the analysis of situationsa They will give priority to this type of solution rather than external solutions in the form of new legislation or new organizations i This guideline will lead them to favour the dejudicialization and decentralization of the process of handling requests for adjustment4 Their reflection is delineated by the basic societal choices that Quebecers have made in recent decades a Their low birthrate and desire to sustain demographic and economic growth have led them to opt for immigration b Many Quebecers have abandoned religious practice and have distanced themselves from the FrenchCanadian identity in favour of the new Quebec identity i They have decided to belong to Canada and to come under the jurisdiction of its institutions ii They have undertaken the shift to globalization and openness to the world
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