The Quebec government says the response to its proposed charter of Quebec values has been overwhelmingly positive.
According to a report compiled by the government and released today by Bernard Drainville, the architect of the charter, 68 per cent of Quebecers are mostly in favour of it, while 18 per cent were mostly against it.
Public sector workers would not be permitted to wear overt religious symbols while at work under the proposed charter.
Drainville explained that 47 per cent of Quebecers who participated in the consultation said they completely supported the charter, while 21 per cent said they were in favour of the charter, with modifications.
The most popular modification requested by those who supported the charter was to remove the crucifix from the national assembly. The second most popular modification was to revoke the rule of exemption.
Since the September release of the proposed charter, more than 25,000 comments were sent to the Parti Québécois via email and telephone.
How the numbers break down
- 12,443 - generally in favour.
- 5,606 - in favour with modifications.
- 4,154 - generally not in favour.
- 527 - not in favour, with modifications/suggestions.
Most popular modifications for Quebecers who are pro-charter:
- 3,424 - in favour of removing the cross from the national assembly.
- 1,425 - against the rule of exemption.
- 774 - in favour of enforcing secular charter for elected officials.
- 444 - people who said faces should be uncovered while giving or receiving services.
- 1,877 - number of people who were uncertain or who left unclear comments.
Drainville says the charter is an important step in promoting equality among men and women.
He said the consultation was a good sampling of Quebecers’ beliefs on the issue and that it was a good day for democracy in the province. However, he said he didn't ask for a regional breakdown of the numbers.
Many people in Montreal have come out against the charter.
When asked if he would have released the results had more people come out against the charter, he said, "of course."
"If you decide to consult the citizens, you've got to live with the results, you've got to live with the numbers," Drainville said.