The Proposed Quebec Charter of Values: a Divisive Solution to a Non-Existent Problem
KIRKLAND, QC, Sept. 12, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The proposed Quebec Charter of Values is unnecessary legislation according to the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT).
"In the English public schools, we have not had significant issues regarding religious accommodation that require a law. In fact, as unions we addressed many of these questions in our collective agreements many decades ago. Those clauses have stood the test of time and no further clarification is needed," said Richard Goldfinch, President of QPAT.
QPAT firmly supported the change from confessional to linguistic school boards in 1998. This change had the effect of making schools secular. The equality of women and men is already well established in both the Quebec and Canadian Charters of Rights. In this context, any further changes or protection are unnecessary and will be harmful to schools.
"The proposed legislation runs counter to one of the most important things we teach in schools: tolerance of others and their beliefs, so long as these beliefs pose no danger or harm to anyone," continued Mr. Goldfinch. "The last thing we need is legislation telling our members what they're allowed to wear."
In conjunction with the proposed changes to the language law in Bill14 and the potentially biased proposed restructuring of the history program, QPAT thinks that the Charter of Quebec Values reflects a narrow view of what a Quebecker is. "Quebeckers have come from different backgrounds for hundreds of years. The law should not be used to enforce a narrow view of who a Quebecker is and what she or he looks like," concluded Mr. Goldfinch.
The Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers, founded in 1864, is the federation of teachers in the English public schools in Quebec. It represents 8,000 members.
SOURCE Quebec Provincial Association of TeachersFor further information:
Executive Assistant, QPAT