Anti-charter protesters rally in Montreal, say PQ plan hinders equal rights
Published Sunday, September 29, 2013 4:53PM EDT
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in downtown Montreal to oppose the controversial Charter of Quebec Values, which if approved would ban public employees from wearing prominent religious symbols, such as headscarves and turbans, in the workplace.
Protest organizer Ken Taylor said the charter would impede on equal rights for Quebeckers.
"I really believe this is a fundamental feature of our society -- equal rights for everyone," Charles Taylor, a McGill University philosophy professor and Order of Canada recipient, told reporters Anti-charter protesters rally in Montreal, say PQ plan hinders equal rightsat the rally Sunday. "If we let that go, we have nothing to give our children and our grandchildren, and it's for them that we’re all here."
The controversial charter has seen both opponents and supporters rally in Montreal in recent weeks, as the proposal by the governing Parti Quebecois has divided the province.
Recent polls suggest the plan has considerable support in Quebec, but there has also been vigorous opposition amongst Quebec's religious minority groups and outside the province.
The federal government said earlier this month that it's prepared to launch a legal challenge against the plan.
Jason Kenney, the minister for multiculturalism, said he's very concerns by any proposal that would limit the ability of Canadians to practice their faith and participate in society.
Both the federal New Democrats and Liberals have also denounced the proposal.
Anti-charter protesters said Sunday that they envision a Quebec that’s inclusive and diversified.
Others said they were "appalled" and "embarrassed" by the proposal.
"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.