KIRKLAND, QC, Nov. 8, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Bill 60, the Parti québécois'
proposed legislation on state secularism and neutrality, is unnecessary
legislation according to the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers
(QPAT) and QPAT's views are unchanged since the Charter of Values was
presented in September.
"In the English public schools, as unions we addressed many questions
regarding religious accommodation in our collective agreements many
decades ago. Those clauses have stood the test of time and no further
clarification is needed. We certainly have not had significant issues
that require a law," 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. 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," continued Mr. Goldfinch. "The last thing
we need is legislation telling our members what they're allowed to
wear. Certainly, QPAT will defend the rights of its members to their
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 Teachers
For further information:
Executive Assistant, QPAT