Jacques Parizeau's call for a more moderate approach to the Charter of Quebec values comes as the Marois government is considering making the proposal even more restrictive than it is now.
The current draft would allow municipalities, health care institutions, CÉGEPs and universities to opt out of the charter's requirements.
However, so many organizations have said they would use that opting-out clause that key cabinet ministers Bernard Drainville and Jean-François Lisée now want to drop the exclusion.
If they do, it will lead to a major confrontation between the Marois government and all the municipalities on the island of Montreal, McGill University, the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and Dawson College — to name just a few.
The direction the government is heading suggests Marois is ready to call an election on identity issues. If so, Jacques Parizeau's appeal for moderation will fall on deaf ears.