MONTREAL, Nov. 7, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Statement by Eric Maldoff and
Luciano G. Del Negro, respectively Chair and Vice-President of the
Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs-Québec (CIJA-Québec)
CIJA-Québec expressed its dismay and frustration with the intransigence
of the Government with respect to today's tabling of Bill 60 on
secularism, which arbitrarily restricts fundamental rights and
We are disappointed that rather than heeding the advice of a wide
cross-section of Quebecers including the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, health institutions and teachers' unions, the Government has hardened
its position by introducing even more stringent measures. CIJA is
particularly opposed to section 38 of the Bill, which opens up the
possibility for the exclusion of a citizen to sit as a member of the
Quebec National Assembly due to his religious identity, which is a
fundamental democratic right held by all citizens. By imposing
unreasonable limitations on fundamental rights, the Government is
sending the message to the Quebec minorities that our rights are
dependent on the majority, rather than being protected and guaranteed
as they should be under the rule of law.
Instead of promoting social cohesion, the bill, which is based on an
alleged threat to state neutrality and the equality between men and
women, is marginalizing individuals who are well integrated and who
contribute significantly to the common good of Quebec society. It is
important to underscore that the Jewish community of Quebec has played
a significant role in the development of public life since the "Act to
Grant Equal Rights and Privileges to Persons of the Jewish Religion"
was enacted in 1832.
As we stated before the Bouchard-Taylor Committee and more recently in
our comments on the draft bill, outward expressions of faith by the
Jewish community of Quebec does not threaten the social cohesion of
Quebec society, nor the religious neutrality of the state since the
time of the Quiet Revolution.
We regret that the Government is moving forward with this legislation
and we regret that the Government is using this issue as a political
maneuver to the detriment of the fundamental rights and freedoms of
Quebecers, and we intend to make our position clear during the National
Assembly hearings and if necessary in the courts. In fact, we are
calling upon all of Quebec society to join our campaign in opposition
to this draft legislation.
SOURCE: Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs
For further information:
David Ouellette, Associate Director, Public Affairs (Québec)