TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada India Foundation (CIF) expresses deep concern about the Quebec Government's proposed "Values Charter", and urges its immediate revocation. "Canada has welcomed people from around the world, with a promise of inclusiveness, equal opportunity, and freedom of religion" said Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan, Chair of CIF, "The proposed Quebec Charter is against these Canadian values and will severely erode the protection of visible minorities in Quebec, setting the province back both socially and economically", he said.
Mr. Surjit Babra, former Chair of CIF and himself a member of the Sikh faith, said, "Members of the Sikh faith have migrated to all parts of the world and become highly contributing citizens, without compromising on symbols of their faith". "Quebec can ill afford the economic loss and social fallout that would undoubtedly result from the message it is sending, that it is closed for business to people of faith, be they Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians or of other faiths", he added.
CIF does recognize that there are circumstances, such as the nation's safety and security and an individual's right to a fair trial, in which the right to display a religious symbol or article of clothing may be questioned, but this must be addressed in a rational and context specific manner rather than through an overarching ban on such symbols.
Canada India Foundation calls on the Quebec Government to abandon this legislation immediately.
Canada India Foundation (CIF) is a national, non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization (NGO) established in 2007 to foster support for stronger bi-lateral relations between Canada and India; to educate Canadians on India; and to increase the participation by Indo-Canadians in political process in Canada. CIF's founding members include industrialists, senior Canadian business executives and top tier professionals.
SOURCE: Canada India Foundation
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