So how do I feel about the Quebec 2014 election results? Hmm, well, that’s a tough one. Really, it is.

I’ll break it down for you:

The Good: Xenophobia lost hardcore

This election may be remembered as a historic loss for the PQ and an end to Pauline Marois’ long political career, but that’s not the real story. This was primarily a rejection of the Charter, state-sanctioned xenophobia and the politics of ethnic and cultural division. And that is a very good thing.

Marois wasn’t elected to ban hijabs and turbans and when she staked her re-election on it, she lost resoundingly. I doubt the PQ, or any other Quebec political party for that matter, will try using extreme identity politics again.

I’m proud that the place I call home won’t be known internationally as the racist part of Canada for much longer. That was sooo 2007.

I’d also like to congratulate Manon Massé for winning in Sainte Marie-St-Jacques. Quebec Solidaire now has three MNAs and a strong, committed activist now has a voice in the National Assembly.

marois resigning

The Duh: Liberal Victory

It makes sense. After PKP’s fist bump and Marois desperately trotting out Charter supporters who apparently had no clue what the proposed law was supposed to do (seriously, Janette Bertrand needs a better rental agreement and maybe a psychiatrist, not a government edict) it became apparent that the PQ was going to lose power.

I know that barring a political wave (they do happen here from time to time), Quebec wasn’t ready for a QS or Green government and the CAQ was fast becoming redundant. That leaves the Liberals.

I was fully expecting a Liberal victory and thought the prospect of Couillard as premier for a bit was a necessary evil that I could endure. Except…

The Bad: It’s a Liberal Majority

I like a minority government situation. It forces the party in power to either work with the other parties and by extension the voters who put them there or pull a Marois and try to re-work the social fabric and go out in a blaze of wealthy Islamic fundamentalist McGill students stealing your pool time.

It also sends a strong message about voter intentions. Giving an opposition party minority government status is more a rejection of the outgoing party than approval of the incoming one.

In 2012, people voted against Jean Charest, Bill 78 and his austerity agenda more than they voted for the PQ. It was clear to almost everyone except Marois, but then again, she also thought the Charter was a good idea and believed that PKP wouldn’t stab her in the back, not the sharpest tack in the drawer.

If this time around the result had been a Liberal minority, it would have been clear that people voted against Marois and the Charter and the Liberals happened to benefit. Instead we have a majority and the Couillard can claim to have a mandate from voters, because, well, he does.

A few months from now, very few will remember how we ended up with the PLQ in power. When Couillard passes austerity measure after austerity measure, tries to privatize healthcare and raise tuition again, there won’t be anyone standing up saying “dude, you’re only here because the last premier was a racist nutjob and an international embarrassment.”

Couillard isn’t Jean Charest. He’s more of a placeholder PLQ leader who found himself with a majority government because of a strategically inept PQ. I can only hope he recognizes that and doesn’t try to foist an agenda on people who were, for the most part, listening to what the PQ was saying when they voted Liberal.

If instead he tries to be Charest, we’re in for four years of social unrest that may make the Maple Spring look like a day in the park.

The hustle and bustle of the election will finally come to a halt on Monday evening as the polls close and slowly the votes start to trickle in. This will mark the end of one of the most divisive and “dirtiest” electoral cycles in Quebec’s modern history. For those that see a sliver lining in the clouds with the victory of Couillard’s Liberals and the ousting of Pauline Marois’s short-lived administration, be careful for what you wish for.

On Tuesday morning as Quebec awakes to a new government and a premier, one thing will not have disappeared. The dismissal of the PQ will not dismiss discrimination.  If there’s but one prognostic I will make for Monday night it’s that roughly 80% of the new occupants of the National Assembly will be aligned with the right and will full-heartedly push for more austerity and more cuts, thus pushing for further inequality and economic discrimination.

The most fascinating aspect of this election for me was that discrimination or the fight against discrimination was a central theme of this campaign. In the end it seems that many of my fellow electors are quite alright pushing aside the allegations of corruption that have been made against the PLQ in past years to fend off the threat of “ethnic nationalism” under the auspices of an hypothetical PQ government. And yet few who follow this logic have taken into account the most brutal form of discrimination: inequality.

couillard sign plq
Not sure if the link listed works (image

According to the polls (they might be wrong but let’s say they’re right) Mr. Couillard will become the next premier of Quebec and the Liberals will form the next government. Quebec will elect yet another Liberal administration with a mandate to dismantle every social safety net they can, battle unions and the economic gains that were fought for during generations and generations, liberalize the economy and slowly hatchet the social fabric of Quebec society. Well, at least we’ll have the consolation prize of having defeated “institutional discrimination” at the ballot box.

Unfortunately we might wake up sooner rather than later to the gruesome reality that the phantoms of discrimination still roam freely and unhindered by the results of the election. When the Charter became the central theme of the campaign, it threw a veil over many important issues, making them non-existent specters within the political arena.

But most importantly, the Charter had the direct consequence of making inequality,  the most recurrent form of discrimination within Quebec society today, invisible. From the start of this campaign the PQ gave victory to the Liberals on a silver platter, for it’s the Liberal trademark to make discrimination solely an affair of individual liberties while on the other hand promoting economic discrimination and the denial of fundamental economic rights.

Those that will vote PLQ “strategically” Monday to chase away the ghosts of discrimination that have haunted this province for the past six months will assure these specters merely a stronger place within our society.  A vote for the PLQ on Monday could be compared to a morbid ghostly dance, a clear invitation to the phantoms of discrimination to make themselves at home in a society that will protect the principal and not the practice of equality.

During the campaign we heard the PQ say that a vote for the CAQ was a vote for the PLQ, we heard the PLQ say that a vote for the CAQ was a vote for the PQ, the truth is that a vote for the PLQ is a vote for the PQ if you’re voting against discrimination. A vote for the PLQ, PQ or CAQ is a vote for discrimination, do not fool yourselves.

Inequality will always be the worst form of discrimination, because poverty is the worst form of violence.

A luta continua!

Just when you thought you had heard it all at the Quebec Charter of Values hearings, they start talking zombies. Zombie marches, that is. Playful, fun zombie marches in Montreal.

I’m not sure how this relates at all to banning government employees from wearing religious symbols while on the job, but the hearings that have produced such gems as a woman freaked out by having to remove her shoes at a mosque in Morocco and where no one is allowed to call anyone racist have now truly lost whatever plot they may have had.

See for yourself:

* Top image by Bianca Lecompte

It’s trickling down. Snow falling from the condensed steam of downtown high rises. It begins to fall gently and you barely even notice it. But when that perfect storm hits, those snowflakes will blind you. Winter is coming.

Regular Canadians, us, our friends and families, who watch tv, listen to the radio and live normal lives are being manipulated by career tricksters and their corporate puppeteers. In English Canada, it’s Brian Lilley and Michael Coren, in Quebec it is Michel Hebert and PQ minister Benard Drainville, all so called journalistsBrian, Michael and Michel work directly for one of richest people in Quebec and Canada, Pierre Peladeau.

Pierre knows whats up. He’s watching his billionaire buddies in Europe. They’re ripping their countries apart, privatizing everything, destroying pensions and throwing people on the street. He’s got his eyes on Hydro Quebec, as the CLSCs are closed down, perhaps private health care too. They’re softening the blows with distractions. Cue the Charters. Attacking minorities becomes a pastime in Europe and slowly, in Canada.

Those few allowed to speak against it publicly don’t make sense. Liberals talk about loving the “others.” They spend their precious words whining about political correctness. The words fly over our head. Racism sells easier than political correctness. Reasonable accommodation, the ultimate liberal mental masturbation, hides a deep austerity. Are we so impoverished that we cannot provide for those whose spirituality calls for the covering of hair or not touching others who are not their spouse? We all work in the same places, play in the same parks, love the same and laugh the same. We don’t need to embrace the language of difference. Why can’t we accommodate everyone? Why are we so impoverished? Who stole our money?

On the banks of the Ottawa River, in the dirt of industrial Montreal, on the piers of Newfoundland, in the mountains of British Columbia, we were played against each other. Quebecers fresh from the farm and Irishmen fresh from the famine fought to the bottom for pennies in factories and forests. Immigrants from Eastern Asia met violence from angry Englishmen in Vancouver over starvation wages.

Historical memory is short. There was a time when Catholics, in many countries, were not allowed to have jobs in the government and were oppressed mercilessly. Now their descendants want to share their forgotten experiences with Muslims, Sikhs and Jews.

If there has been one thing consistent across time and space, it is that good, regular people, unfiltered by the poetic trickery of the elite and the pain of poverty, have always shared a bond. Humans have a natural solidarity and, I believe, want to love one another. It is the rich and powerful that benefit from dividing us.

Top hat wearing English blokes, not so far removed from Brian Lilley, used to write poems and stories about how much they hated those poor people working in factories and living in slums. Even today, think about how big television stations now portray trailer parks and ghettos in popular culture. They call us fat. They call us stupid. They want us to hate ourselves. And then, as if stealing from the poor of their own country wasn’t enough, these top hat wearing, cigar smoking monopoly men wanted the world. They sold lies about Native Americans, Indians, Chinese people and African people so they could send poor white folks to murder them, steal from them, and die.

The bodies of the poor are the weapons of the rich. And not much has changed. They still use us. Their ranks have swelled. They look and sound more like us. They’ve removed their hats, but they hold their reigns tightly and they’re riding us into each other with the force of a nation.

Today is the day voters in two provincial by-elections have their say. I spoke with Morgan Crockett, candidate for the Quebec Green Party in the Montreal North riding of Viau.

FTB: You’ve been involved in politics both at Dawson and most recently behind the scenes with Projet Montreal at the municipal level. What drew you to the Quebec provincial political arena and in particular the Green Party?

Crockett: Politics have always been my natural interest, whether it is student, municipal, provincial or federal. I have always felt the need to inform myself on issues that face my peers and stand in unity with them.

My interest in provincial politics definitely increased when student groups such as the Dawson Student Union began to organise against the planned tuition fee hike from the Liberal government and for universal post-secondary education. Even though the strike ended, it only seemed natural to continue to fight for the same and other issues in whatever way possible.

The Green Party is a very respectable party that allows me to change the national debate on many topics that are usually only between a few neoliberal parties. The Green Party is the only party in Québec that represents my interests in post-seconday education funding, environmental issues and social equality.

What do you think will be the biggest issues in the next province-wide election and when do you think that election will happen?

I think the biggest issue will be the Charter of Values. Many voters will be keeping in mind the position of all the major parties on the Charter of Values when it is time to go to the ballot box.

In the last election many people could not really tell the difference between the three main parties: they were all neoliberals under a different brand name. Now with the Charter of Values it has created at least some way of separating them.

And each party, even down to the smaller ones, have a different position on the proposed Charter, whether it be completely for it, against it or proposing a completely different piece of legislation with the same spirit of the original Charter.

Tell me a bit about Viau. What kind of riding is it and what concerns the people of Viau the most?

Viau is a very vibrant and diverse community with over half of the populations mother tongue being neither French or English, and about 45% were born outside of Canada. A particular concern would definitely be the Charter of Values which is a threat to such a diverse community to be able to grow and be accepted in Québec and their workplaces. Viau already has an unemployment rate which is well above (almost double) the Québec average.

What would you do as an MNA for the people of Viau and for the interests of the Green Party?

As the MNA for Viau, I would represent the people of Viau by out right opposing the Charter in the National Assembly and also working for a united Québec that invests in public transit, environmental legislation and for our rights.

* polls in Viau and Outremont are open until 8pm tonight, Monday December 9th. Voting info is available at

This post originally appeared on, republished with permission from the author

Not so unlike the story of the fall of Troy, this is the story of the fall of the social-democratic Parti-Québécois. Unlike the story of Troy, there is neither heroism nor bravery in this tale.

This is the story of an amnesiac party. They were once the sole voice of the social-democratic aspirations of the people of Quebec, but the story now is how the pillar values of this movement crumbled. Within the hallways of the National Assembly you will not hear this story, nor in the PQ’s caucus meetings, but the fact is that Le Parti Québécois now seems to be a “progressive” option only in name.

In the days of the student strike the party of Pauline Marois had fashioned itself as the “pragmatic” left-of-centre alternative to the assault of the PLQ, a party that had just spent nine years strangling the Quebec left’s lifeblood and sense of hope. Marois and her shadow cabinet rode the wave of popular protest and discontent, allowing them to shore-up in the rows of government in Quebec City.

The winds of change soon enough started blowing and from the first minutes of this new reign, the newly elected administration was engulfed by the storm of global austerity. The choice the PQ cabinet was faced was with was a stark one: defaulting on the ideology of austerity or making debt reduction the main focus of their mandate. And so began the infernal dance of cuts and hikes, and on this quintessential note the three main parties (PQ, PLQ, and CAQ) were in symphonic harmony.

Pauline Marois back when she still wore a red square (photo Canadian Press)
Pauline Marois back when she still wore a red square (photo Canadian Press)

The tragedy is that for the first time in a decade, the PQ had a shot at pushing the public debate within the province to the left. Lest we forget that beyond the social movements that had shook the province, it was also the first provincial election in the post orange wave era; in a strategic sense the time was ripe to reinvigorate the social-democratic heritage of the founding fathers of the PQ.

After tragedy came farce. The Parti Quebecois was as usual at swords drawn with the Harper administration but basically followed suit with their cuts to E.I. and made sure that the money flow towards corporate welfare was well and healthy. One would have expected the words of austerity to be expelled from la chambre bleue, and one would have expected the use of special laws or right to work legislation to be non-existent, and yet they were omnipresent.

This begged the question – how do you enhance the quest for independence by taking the same line as one of the most unpopular federal governments in history among Quebeckers? And when it seemed like nothing could save the PQ movement from the game of musical chairs in the upcoming election, the box of ethnic nationalism was opened.

In his book The Darker Nations: a people’s history of the third world, Vijay Prashad states that: “Globalization and cultural nationalism are not opposites or irreconcilable doubles; they exist together, they feed off each other. Indeed, cultural nationalism is the Trojan horse of IMF-driven globalization.”

Put this quote in the perspective of our provincial situation and it becomes obvious; the charter is but a distraction, now that all our forces are put into fighting against this charter of institutionalized discrimination, we forget all together about the past year of PQ governance, their broken promises and their ardent application of Chicago School economics (read economic liberalism and free markets) to the line. But most importantly we forget about what should be the real issue, institutionalized economic and social discrimination which has been implemented by the neo-liberal agenda defended by the CAQ and implemented by both the PQ and the PLQ while in government.

So it is my humble belief that the Charter of values should be seen for what it is, a Trojan horse. On the surface there are differences between the three main parties represented in the National Assembly but in depth, none. This false debate gives them the chance to amplify these “differences,” the bigger the debate, the better; the only winner is neo-liberalism.

Unfortunately this debate is a farce and the epitome of hypocrisy. How can one claim to be the soul defender of civil liberties and yet deny one of the fundamental human rights, universal access to health care services? How can you be for equality and women’s rights when you cut the help that single mothers receive?

If we want to live in a society in which the values of equality and equity are upheld, we must first tackle economical and social discrimination.

A group of protesters shouting “Crucifix, décalisse” (translation: Crucifix get the hell out of here) interrupted Premier Pauline Marois as she started speaking in the National Assembly yesterday. FEMEN Quebec claimed responsibility for the protest of the Charter of Quebec Values and its uneven approach to state secularism.

The charter exempts the giant cross on top of the Quebec legislature and other “ostentatious” Christian symbols from its sweeping ban on “ostentatious” religious symbols in the public sphere on the grounds that they are “integral to the Québécois identity.” The group pointed out that the cross only showed up in the National Assembly under Maurice Duplessis’ reign, symbolizing his government’s close ties to the Catholic Church.

Below is a video of security trying desperately to remove and clothe the protesters (La Presse has a longer video on their site).

Did the protest get its point across?

Off all the asinine comments made by Mme Marois in defense of her fatally flawed ‘Québec charte des valeurs’ (daycare workers wearing hijabs are threatening our children, comparing it to Bill 101, etc.) I think the one I want to discuss here is her rather unfortunate using of the French model of “laiçité” as an example for Québec to follow in integrating its Muslim population.

The notion, that French secularist traditions have led to some sort of social harmony between French society and millions of Arab speaking Muslim Algerian, Tunisian and Moroccan immigrants, the vast majority of which arrived in France during the post-war period at the invitation of previous French governments to help fill jobs created by the boom of recovery in Europe’s war-torn economies, is simply laughable.

Anyone who has been paying attention to recent French history knows that unemployment rates among the Arabic Muslim minority (one in every 13 French citizens describes themselves as Muslim) are much higher than they are among the general population. There has also been a rise, though not due only to socio-economic conditions, of homegrown terrorism and racial tensions in France’s major cities (for example the riots of Clichy-Sous-Bois back in 2005).

French secularism is very different from North America’s, or even Quebec’s version of the institution, owing to the dramatically different historical, political and legal contexts in which it evolved. Even Marois seems to vaguely grasp this fact, saying that “Quebec will develop its own model based on our values and experiences.”

For starters, France has essentially been thoroughly secular at the governmental level since the French Revolution in 1789. But, more to the point, their version of secularism makes no exceptions for Christian symbolism in the public sector (i.e. no cross hangs in their National Assembly). Also, it should be said, that the measures being proposed by the PQ are not as drastic as those that were imposed in France, where there are no niqabs allowed in public whatsoever, and female students are not even allowed to wear hijabs at state schools.

But Marois’ ignorance of the French model that ostensibly inspired her bill is not confined to French history. She also spectacularly misreads British multiculturalism as a main cause of British terrorism, in the process unwittingly spewing the same claptrap as such noble political parties as the racist British National Party and the ultra-right wing UK Independence Party. I suppose it has never occurred to her to look at the rest of Canada as a successful model of multiculturalism?

Marois either doesn’t appreciate the obvious differences in context between Western Europeans societies and ours with respect to integrating religious minorities, or doesn’t care to. Irrespective, she will pursue her destructive agenda to the bitter end.

Perhaps we on the federalist side of the political spectrum should rejoice. This could be the final nail in the coffin for an already out-of-touch government with no economic or job creation strategy to speak of. Maybe one day we will look back on this moment as the kind of desperate gamble to remain relevant that resulted in the Republican Party in the US becoming beholden to the overwhelmingly white lunatic fringe of right wing politics that the Tea Party represents in that country.

But when we see the hatred, taking some of its cues from the rhetoric of the Parti Quebecois, starting to poison everyday life the way it did for the victim of a racist tirade on a bus in Montreal recently, it’s awfully hard to feel smug about the situation.

The real targets of the Charter of Quebec Values are the CAQ, Quebec Solidaire and the NDP. Muslims, Sikhs, Jews and Orthodox Christians are just innocent victims caught in political crossfire.

charter of quebec values protestFor decades, Quebec politics split into two camps. Federalists and most anglos voted Liberal provincially and either Liberal or Conservative federally. Soverigntists voted PQ and Bloc.

Progressive voters, especially progressive anglos, didn’t have much choice at all. With the PQ leaning increasingly to the right on social and economic issues, even progressive soverigntists had to hold their noses when voting PQ.

I hate to generalize, but in this case I have to. The PQ has always had two political bases: left-leaning secular soverigntists living predominately in urban areas and ultra-nationalist Catholics in the suburbs and countryside who veer right politically, sometimes to the point if xenophobia.

The nationalist base also flirted with homophobia when openly gay Andre Boisclair was leader. The PQ fell to third place for the first time ever as nationalist right wing voters found refuge in the ADQ, who only had to not rule out the idea of a separate Quebec.

The current incarnation of the ADQ, the Coalition de l’Avenir du Quebec, are separatist at the core but promise not to hold a referendum right away. This allows them to pick up right wing anglos fed up with the Liberals but also take hard right nationalist votes away from the PQ.

Meanwhile, upstart leftist sovereignist parties like QS and Option Nationale threaten to take soft separatist votes. Throw in some progressive federalist voters and lefties who care more about social policy than which flag is flown and the PQ stands to lose seats in their urban enclaves.

In the last federal election, progressive soverigntists who realized Ottawa was the wrong place to fight for independence banded together with progressive federalists and decimated the Bloc, taking a bunch of Liberals down too. The Orange Wave that saw the NDP take most of the seats in Quebec was part love affair with Jack Layton and part rejection of the status quo of Quebec politics.

charter sign

It’s that status quo that the PQ desperately needs to reestablish both provincially and federally. Enter the Charter, with it’s rules against public sector employees wearing “ostentatious” religious attire.

Small crosses are okay as are Star of David and Muslim Crescent trinkets which have no religious meaning whatsoever. Burqas, niquabs, turbans, yarmulkes, kippahs and Orthodox Christian crosses (generally larger than the Catholic ones) aren’t.

The target audience is clearly the right-wing nationalist side of the PQ’s base, but Marois and company probably figure that the reasonable accommodations crowd will go for a ban on turbans and burquas with little prodding. So the marketing push is focused instead on secular leftists, talking about women’s rights and the neutrality of the state.

Arguing that a law which targets specific groups is neutral is a stretch at best, explaining how banning a Jewish man from wearing a kippah or a Sikh from wearing a turban has anything to with women’s rights, meanwhile, is downright impossible. But it doesn’t matter. This strategy gives progressive PQ supporters enough political cover to defend their party without having to admit they support far-right social conditioning.

They’ll also be able to criticize QS, a feminist party, who opposed the charter on principle. Expect a repeat of the baseless accusations that surfaced before the last election, claiming that QS is just a puppet of the NDP.

charter of quebec values ad

Thomas Mulcair opposes the Charter, as do Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper. In fact, the only federal party supporting it is the Bloc. No surprise they booted Maria Mourani for speaking out against it (and in the process, kicked out a fifth of their caucus and their only female MP and their only representation from the island of Montreal).

The CAQ thinks the Charter goes too far, but does support it when it comes to government employees in a position of power. Their position, squarely seated on top of the fence, makes sense: the Charter plays to right wingers who they covet but it’s also bad for business, their other key demographic.

The Quebec Liberals, predictably, are opposed to the Charter outright. The PQ’s traditional opponent in stark opposition, just like old times.

The PQ’s endgame is not separation, it hasn’t been for years. The threat or promise of it is just another tool to achieve their real goal: bringing back those good ole days when it was them and the Bloc versus the Quebec Liberals and the rest of Canada.

Now Marois can claim that only the PQ and the Bloc speak for Quebec and its values. All she had to do was redefine the values of half her base as those of Quebec.

It doesn’t matter how many people are discriminated against and leave Quebec. It doesn’t matter how many people are accosted in public for no good reason. The only thing that’s actually valuable to her and her party is for Quebec politics to return to the status quo.


Pauline Marois blames multiculturalism for bombings and violence in England.

“They are punching each other and throwing bombs because it’s multiculturalism,” she said while promoting her government’s proposed Charter of Quebec Values on Friday, “and no one there sees themselves in that society.”

After Quebec politicians and citizens put pressure on Marois, she clarified her statement. By bombing she meant attacking different models of social integration.

While she admitted that France’s model of secularism, responsible for ghettos, racial profiling and riots, “isn’t perfect,” she ignored the Global Migrant Integration Policy Index findings that the UK is only narrowly better than France at integrating immigrants. Canada, by contrast, is ranked third in the world, vastly higher than both countries.

This came a few days after former PQ leader and Quebec Premier Bernard Landry praised France’s state secularism but also failed to mention the brutal xenophobia it fostered. He was announcing that the government would forgo passing Bill 14, which would have stripped bilingual status from municipalities where a majority of the population’s mother tongue is not French among other things, and focus instead on their Charter which would ban public sector workers from wearing religious clothing or symbols.

It’s no surprise the bill didn’t fly with the public. Even the terms anglophone and francophone are becoming archaic and Quebecers don’t want to be confined by such narrow constructs.

The PQ decided to leave English speakers alone and set their sights on an easier target: immigrants and their religion. Unfortunately the Charter has been a bigger hit with the public, but not everyone is happy. Montreal recently voted unanimously to reject the proposal and quite a few media outlets, most of them in English Canada criticized the plan. At the press conference, Landry found himself on the defensive.

Maka Kotto
Quebec Culture Minister Maka Kotto

“I take pity on some of Canada’s English newspapers,” he blasted back, calling to Anglo media coverage of the secular charter an exercise in “Quebec bashing.” He went on to warn that Canada will “deeply regret” embracing multiculturalism:

“Multiculturalism will lead to more and more problems,” he said, adding that “immigrants themselves are the first victims of multiculturalism.”

Landry continued by attempting to dispel accusations, which were never raised, that the PQ was a party of bigots:

“Do they think our culture minister was born on Ile d’Orleans? It’s (Cameroonian native) Maka Kotto. We (the PQ) elected the first black person in the Quebec national assembly. The Bloc Quebecois elected the first Latino to the Parliament of Canada. They should open their eyes.”

Landry’s message is inconsistent. He dismissed accusations of péquiste bigotry by praising the PQ’s multiculturalism credentials and in the same breath vilified multiculturalism as a national plague. Landry may truly believe he is not a bigot, but he could also be unaware of what being racist, ironic, or disingenuous means.



Landry also claimed that “in the US, you never see a police officer with a turban.” In reality, there are American police and even US Army soldiers who can and do wear them on duty.

Maybe Landry and Marois should just look in their own backyard instead of pulling examples from the states and Europe. Sikhs in the RCMP and the government of Canada can wear turbans, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned Quebec’s ban on kirpas and recently the Canadian Soccer Federation forced their Quebec counterpart to get rid of their ban on religious headwear.

Despite the Charter’s popularity with some people, cracks are showing in the PQ’s cultural shield.