CBC's The Debaters takes on Quebec's secular charter

A sneak peek at The Debaters' take on Quebec's secular charter, including web exclusive director's cuts of part of the show.
Host of CBC's The Debaters, Steve Patterson (CBC)

CBC Radio One's The Debaters is never afraid to tackle the tough - and not so tough - topics.


This week, the argument at hand surrounds a subject Quebecers have been debating for months: the province's proposed secular charter, or, as it is now known officially, the Charter Affirming The Values Of Secularism And The Religious Neutrality Of The State, As Well As The Equality Of Men And Women, And The Framing Of Accommodation Requests.

One-time Montrealer Steve Patterson hosts and referees a debate between current Montrealer Eman El-Husseini and satirist Al Rae on the merits of the charter.

Eman el-Husseini takes an oppositional view, arguing that, among other things, if the cross in the National Assembly is a symbol of Quebec's history, then maybe it should also be celebrating the dream catcher, a symbol of Quebec's first First People.

Satirist and devout westerner Al Rae argues in favour of the Charter. Not, he points out, that this should be construed as a defence of the French language or Quebec "in any way."

Every debate includes opening arguments from each of the debaters, but because of the constraints of radio schedules, not all of it gets to air.

Here are some web-exclusive, director’s cut versions of each debater’s opening arguments.

Intrigued? Tune in to The Debaters Saturday at 1 p.m. and Wednesday at 11:30am on CBC Radio One.


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