Audio

'I don't fear somebody with a headscarf'

Quebec lawyer Hans Marotte became a hero of the province's sovereignty movement in 1988 when he scaled the cross atop Mount Royal and unfurled a banner. Now, 25 years later, he reflects on the latest separatist project: a charter of Quebec values.

Former Quebec sovereignty hero says province doesn't need a values charter

Hans Marotte pulled off a stunt in 1988 that made him a hero of Quebec's sovereignty movement. (Radio-Canada)

Quebec lawyer Hans Marotte became a hero of the province's sovereignty movement in 1988 when he scaled the cross atop Mount Royal in Montreal and unfurled a banner reading "Loi 101" — a reference to Bill 101, aka the French Language Charter, the Quebec legislation that banned English from commercial signs and made most students attend school in French.

Today, another separatist government is pushing to pass another charter — a charter of values. It would ban public-sector workers from wearing hijabs, turbans, kippas or large crucifixes while on the job, and force anyone to uncover their face to receive public services.

Marotte says he doesn’t support this latest Parti Québécois initiative.  

"I don't fear somebody with a headscarf. I don't fear somebody with a kippa," he tells CBC Radio's David Gutnick in an interview 25 years after his stunt in Montreal.

"They believe in God, they have their own identity — her own identity is not a threat to mine. I know who I am, I know my values, and if somebody is different from me, then I am going to learn from her."

Click here, or on the link above, to listen to the full interview from CBC Radio's TheSunday Edition.

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