Charter of Values collects 12,000 messages from public
Published Thursday, September 19, 2013 12:36PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 19, 2013 2:11PM EDT
After several conflicting messages from PQ ministers this week, Bernard Drainville came out Thursday to say clearly: everything is still up for discussion.
The Minister of Democratic Institutions said Thursday that more than 100,000 people have visited the special Nos Valeurs website set up by the government, and that 12,000 have submitted comments about the Charter of Quebec Values.
Those comments are going to the minister and his staff, but not being posted publicly.
He said that the government is open to tinkering with all aspects of the yet-to-be-tabled legislation.
"Nothing is off the table. We have made a proposal. It is a whole. It is something that we want people to give their input on," said Drainville.
Drainville appeared to be more open to incorporating the public's demands, while earlier this week Jean-Francois Lisée, the International Affairs Minister, said the opt-out clause should be scaled back, and should not be permanent.
"Why should I take anything off the table? Nothing should be off the table. It's the time for the citizens to tell us what they think of the project," Drainville said.
In the weeks since the Charter aimed at restricting religious freedom in Quebec was proposed the population has become sharply divided on the issue, with the latest polls showing that supporters of the Charter are now outnumbered by opponents.
Drainville said he expected the public debate on the Charter would continue for weeks, and offered no timeline as to when draft legislation would be completed or submitted for debate in the National Assembly.