MONTREAL, Sept. 18, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs - Quebec (CIJA-Québec) announced today that it formally supports the Manifesto for an inclusive Québec and calls on members of the Jewish community and all Quebecers to endorse it. Recent polls clearly show that as Quebecers come to understand the Government's proposed Charter of Quebec Values, increasing numbers are opposed to it.
Drafted by academics and professionals from across the political spectrum, this non-partisan Manifesto sets out a principled critique of the proposed Charter which is in line with our own concerns and opposition to the Government's unfounded proposal to ban public and parapublic sector workers from wearing religious symbols. This proposal is a departure from Quebec's history of openness and inclusiveness.
As the Manifesto states, "the proposed Charter of Quebec Values would force minorities to choose between their conscience and their survival […] Quebec has for long been a warm and welcoming land where each person could contribute to our great social tapestry. We believe that it is through greater social diversity, not by ostracizing certain individuals that we can continue to live in harmony. Quebec identity is not built upon the rejection of the Other".
The Manifesto is clearly gaining momentum as a vehicle to bring Quebecers together to express their opposition to the proposed Charter's unfounded restrictions of fundamental rights and freedoms. Some 19, 000 Quebecers have already signed on to it, including several personalities such as songwriters Michel Rivard and Richard Desjardins, filmmaker Philippe Falardeau, among others.
Freedom from discrimination based on religion, freedom of expression and freedom of association are fundamental. Any attempt to limit such freedoms must be reasonable and demonstrably justifiable. The government has failed to meet this test. The proposed measures are unreasonable and are not supported by any research or credible data.
It is the responsibility of our government to promote social cohesion based on mutual respect, generosity of spirit and inclusiveness. The government is failing to fulfil its responsibility by proposing its Charter.
CIJA-Québec believes that at this time the most constructive and efficient way for individuals to make their voices heard is to sign the Manifesto for an Inclusive Quebec and to be part of the mounting number of Quebecers who are sending a clear message of opposition to the government's unacceptable proposal to curb Quebecers' fundamental rights and freedoms.
To read and sign the Manifesto for an Inclusive Quebec go to: http://quebecinclusif.org/manifeste-2/english/
SOURCE: Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs
For further information:
Associate Director, Public Affairs (Québec)
Luciano G. Del Negro