PQ produces holiday guide to defending secular charter

Parti Québécois partisans wondering how to spin the government's controversial secular charter at holiday gatherings now have a handbook to guide them.

Liberals say publication reflects PQ concerns for public opinion

Jean-François Lisée, the PQ's Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade, told CBC News that it was "charter-free day" and did not answer questions about the government's new holiday talking points for Bill 60. (CBC)

Parti Québécois partisans wondering how to spin the government's controversial secular charter at holiday gatherings now have a handbook to guide them.

Released last Friday, the six-page guide, entitled Holiday party answers to your family's questions!, provides template answers to questions like:

  • What's the point of the Charter?
  • What will the Charter change?
  • What will happen to religious accommodations?
  • Why ban all employees of the state from wearing religious symbols?
  • What will happen to the crucifix in the National Assembly?

The guide also provides counter-arguments to assertions including:

  • Quebec is already secular. There's no problem.
  • The Charter is dividing everybody.
  • There are more people against the Charter than for it.
  • People everywhere in the world see us as racists.
  • The Charter contravenes existing rights and liberties. It will never pass.

Asked to comment on the PQ's holiday talking points for Bill 60, Jean-François Lisée, Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade, told CBC News that it was "charter-free day" and did not answer questions.

Geoffery Kelley, the Liberal Member for Jacques-Cartier, called the guidebook a desperate act.

"Obviously they realize their product has a lot of problems if they have to go out and defend it, even over the holidays," he said.