Government's intransigence undermines the very purpose of public hearings, deplores CIJA

MONTREAL, Jan. 14, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - As a result of recent statements made by Mr. Bernard Drainville, Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs - Québec (CIJA Québec) has serious reservations regarding the public consultations on Bill 60, which began today before the Committee on Institutions at the Quebec National Assembly.

While the wall to wall ban of religious symbols in the public and parapublic service is the main point of contention dividing political parties and the population, Mr. Drainville has refused from the onset to even consider the slightest change with respect to the most controversial provisions of Bill 60, the sections most detrimental to the rights and freedoms of Quebecers.

Luciano G. Del Negro, Vice-President of CIJA-Québec stated: "Given that the consultation process is fundamental to our parliamentary democracy, the intransigence of the Government undermines the very purpose of such consultations. Clearly, this is a cynical manipulation of Quebec's democratic institutions and a waste of public funds for partisan ends. We call on Minister Drainville to take the necessary steps to ensure that the parliamentary commission be truly consultative and demonstrate an openness to make changes to the Bill".

CIJA-Québec and Federation CJA filed their brief on Bill 60 on behalf of the Quebec Jewish community, and out of respect for Quebec's democratic institutions, plan to present it before the Committee on Institutions.

SOURCE: Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs

For further information:

David Ouellette
Associate Director, Public Affairs (Quebec)
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

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