Demonstrators denounce PQ's proposed values charter
Published Sunday, September 29, 2013 4:09PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, September 29, 2013 7:15PM EDT
MONTREAL - The PQ’s proposed values charter inspired demonstrators to take to the streets of downtown Montreal Sunday, as thousands protested the proposal to ban religious symbols worn by workers on the provincial government payroll.
The crowd, estimated by one source to number between 3,000 – 5,000, started their march early in the afternoon from near Place des Arts and headed towards Jeanne Mance Park, chanting, “We are all Quebecers.”
The crowd included a large Jewish component, which was absent from the last march held two weeks ago because it fell on Yom Kippur.
Among the protesters was former Societe St. Jean Baptiste chief Jean Dorion who described the proposed legislation as a diversion tactic. “Diversity is the future of Quebec,” he said.
One woman, who identified herself as a nurse, told CTV Montreal that she would never remove her hijab regardless of the charter. She denounced the proposal as discriminatory.
Prior to the march, academic Charles Taylor, who co-chaired the Bouchard-Taylor government commission on the accomodation issue, articulated his objections towards the proposed legislation. "Our society is organized around rights for everybody, and we can't let that go for one minute without regretting it for the rest of our lives and the rest of our history," Taylor said.
Last weekend, several hundred demonstrators marched in favour of the charter, while the weekend prior, a larger crowd demonstrated against it. The turnout Sunday appeared to be bigger than either of the previous large demonstrations.