The PQ won’t let go of bad ideas

The controversial Bill 14 may be done for, the but the PQ is hanging tight to its secularism charter, which everyone else on earth thinks is ridiculous.

Pauline Marois. Photo via Flickr

Well, Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois look to be conceding that Bill 14, a controversial language law that would, among other things, grant more power to the language police and give the provincial government the right to revoke a municipality’s bilingual status, was probably not meant to be. Faced with heavy opposition to the bill, Marois said that her party would let it fade, rather than dilute it further.

As at least one person noted, the timing of the PQ’s concession was a little conspicuous, given that, you know, they’re trying to push that whole secularism charter — which, Marois says, “will become a strong unifying factor for Quebecers” — right now. By Quebecers, Marois is likely excluding those of us who don’t wear religious garb — hijabs, yarmulkes, etc. — since, under her party’s plan, those of us who do won’t be able to work in public institutions.

But the city of Montreal won’t have itvoting unanimously not to endorse it, while federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has said he has no regrets for likening it to the segregation that once coloured the United States. Stephen Harper, for his part, has also denounced the charter. So we will see if the day will come when one cannot wear religious symbols — crucifixes aside, of course — to one’s job in, say, a hospital or daycare centre.

While we await our municipal election, south of us, the people of Saint-Rémi have ousted their own scandal-plagued mayor, Michel Lavoie, by way of provisions in Bill 10. Lavoie, naturally, faces charges of fraud, conspiracy and breach of trust.

Meanwhile, Pointe-Claire mayor Bill McMurchie says city council was woefully unaware of the PCBs — that is, polychlorinated biphenyls — that leaked from a site where a company called Reliance Power Equipment had been storing them illegally for the past 15 years. This morning, the provincial environment ministry — which McMurchie said should handle the situation — announced that the company would clean the site up. The plan for said clean-up is to be delivered by Sept. 3, which totally puts a dent in any of its principals’ weekend plans. ■

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