Quebec’s proposed secular charter is, according to the Jewish General Hospital’s executive director, “flawed and contrary to Quebec’s spirit of inclusiveness and tolerance.”
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The written statement came today from hospital director Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg and was endorsed by the Jewish General Hospital’s board of directors.
“Since the bill is inherently prejudicial, there is no point in taking advantage of any clause that would grant us temporary, short-term relief,” Rosenberg said, referring to previous discussion about hospitals getting exemptions from the charter.
“If approved, this offensive legislation would make it extremely difficult for the JGH to function as an exemplary member of Quebec’s public health care system,” he continued.
The statement went on to say:
"For nearly 80 years, the JGH has prided itself on the fact that its staff — representing a wide diversity of faiths, with many employees wearing conspicuous items of clothing with religious symbols — has provided care of superior quality to Quebecers of all backgrounds.
“JGH patients continue to come to this hospital in ever-increasing numbers with only one thought in mind: to receive treatment and care of the highest quality. This is what matters most to residents of the hospital’s Côte-des-Neiges area, which is widely regarded as one of the most ethnically, racially, culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse neighbourhoods in Canada. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the JGH receives no complaints about the religious or cultural apparel of its staff.”
The hospital said its officials will be sending a brief outlining its position to the national assembly.
In October, hospitals and health care institutions across Quebec asked for a permanent exemption from the Parti Québécois's proposed ban of overt religious symbols for people working in the public sector.