I'm from Quebec and i'm glad someone from the outside of this country pointed out how little absurd that first question was. I a do not wish for Quebec to seperate because i love Canada. Just came back from a trip to Toronto and i love it there. Forced to say Quebec really stands on it's own for their values and vision. People in Quebec really pushed religion early on and were in the first to push for rights and equality. The majority of the population agrees on these laws Bill 96 and 21 to protect our language which is surrounded back english literally everywhere. Find it kinda dumb some people don't understand how we want to keep our culture in check. And the other one, to remove religion from some fields like cops, doctors etc. It's not about not wanting to see a sign of another religion in these places, it's that we literally voted to remove catholic symbolism in many places few years ago and are trying to remove it from some key establishment that shouldn't be represented by religion , so it only make sense for everyone to go under that rule.
Sometimes Quebec is in the wrong for sure and i don't think these bills are the most correct options, but still the way this question was asked at the very start is laughable. The way they kept making fun of him as well during the debate too. I did hate how Blanchet compared the rejection we face in Quebec from the rest of Canada to the first nations which we clearly don't have it that bad.
I'm also from Quebec, and I have mixed opinion on bill 21
I understand that this law is to further and in a way take action on the separation of state and religion value we hold.
It prevents public servants in position of authority, which do represent a religion free/neutral government, to wear or display any religious symbol/garment while exercising their job.
It kind of made sense in a nutshell.
On one side:
Some media like to liken this law to a blatant "display" of Quebec overall 'Racism'.
After reading some, most of them stem from oversimplification of the issue, other are just plainly clickbait title with Quebec bashing included (which seams to be quite popular in some part of Canada).
Most argument trying to paint this portrait does not hold any water though
- No minorities or ethnic group is targeted by this law.
- No specific religion is targeted by the law.
- No one is actually banned from holding those position as long as they respect the religion neutral aspect of the government which they represent.
- Religion 101, religion is mostly spread from an authority figure. Mostly parents to children, but any other form of authority may influence a person religious decision.
With a clear separation of state and religion, the state does not want to be associated with any king of religious influence.
This may seems far fetched but it's important to note some students in quebec were greatly suspected, and with some evidences in support, to have been radicalized by a teacher and tried (some even suceeded) joining the islamic state.
- Bill 21 have some support among minorities and ethnic group, mostly those whose country of origin have repressive religious state.
In any case, the only 'victims' of this law are those whose religion require them to wear religious symbols.
But there's a problem, if your religion does have such a hold on you that cannot consider/dare removing them when required, how can we trust you to take decision free of religious influence?
Also, I see this law as a test for secularism in general.
Most agree(if not almost everyone) that a secular state is the way to go. But any concrete act/law to secure a secular state will be met by racism claim.
Kind of a paradox
On the other side
I fail to see how bill 21 actually fix anything.
While not targeting any religion, Muslim women are particularly hit by its consequence.
Even in case were the person agree to remove religious symbols it does not prevent him/her of being influenced by it while exerting his/her duty.
A teacher may still preach his/her religion even when not wearing face covering/turban.
A baptist judge may still render decisions based on belief.
A teacher wearing religious symbols may/does actually (probably like 99% of the time) lead to a healthy discussion on religion and would most likely help combat racism.
While I see reasons behind Bill 21 and it can be explain frankly easily without invoking racism, it does not provides any benefits except satisfying electorate.
In the end I don't support Bill 21 but don't think it is motivated by racism in any way.
IMO a universal deontological code, which assess that decision making must not involve religion in any way shape or form, applied to any government position, not just those with authority, would have been better.