Crucifix to stay in National Assembly: Drainville

PQ minister Bernard Drainville says the crucifix will remain behind the speaker's throne in the National Assembly.

PQ minister calls Easter and Christmas 'civic holidays'

PQ Minister Bernard Drainville calls Christmas and Easter civic holidays. (Canadian Press)

Bernard Drainville, the minister responsible for Democratic Institutions says the crucifix will remain behind the speaker's throne in Quebec's National Assembly.

"On the question of historical patrimony, including the crucifix, we're not going to touch that," he said in a Radio-Canada interview.

"Be it the cross on Mount Royal, the cross on the [Quebec] flag, the crosses on roads, Saint Élisabeth and Saint Dorothée can sleep peaceful." 

Drainville made the comments on the program 'Pas de midi sans info' hosted by journalist Michel C. Auger. 

He also said the PQ's "Charter of Secularism" will not be tabled until the fall.     

Christmas and Easter are 'civic holidays': Drainville 

Drainville sees no contradiction between making exceptions for Christian traditions while denouncing, as he did last week, the borough of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce for lifting parking restrictions during a Jewish high holiday.

Drainville says special arrangements are okay for Christmas and Easter because, while they started off as religious feasts, they have now become civic holidays. 

"They are civic holidays," says Drainville. "Everyone benefits from those holidays. There is no particular religious connotation. Christmas and Easter were originally religious holidays, but now they have become civic holidays."

May 22 marks the fifth anniversary of the release of the Bouchard-Taylor report into reasonable accommodation of cultural differences. 

But when the debate resumes this fall, Quebecers will likely still be struggling to find reasonable accommodations between their quest for a secular society and their own religious and historical patrimony.