New survey suggests growing support for Quebec secular charter

An online poll released today pegs support in Quebec for a secular charter that would ban religious symbols for public employees at 66 per cent.

Says 66% want religious symbols banned for civil servants

A woman wears a niqab as she walks Monday, September 9, 2013 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press)

An online poll released today suggests support is growing for the charter.

The survey conducted by SOM, one of the largest survey firms in Quebec, pegs support for a secular charter that would ban religious symbols for public employees at 66 per cent.

A poll conducted two weeks ago by Léger Marketing for le Journal de Montréal found support to be 58 per cent.

The Parti Québécois is set to unveil some of the details about its proposed charter of Quebec values this morning at the national assembly, and the party is hoping it gets some support despite the controversy surrounding it.

The SOM survey was conducted online, in French and English, from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, with 1937 Quebec respondents.

The survey’s maximum margin of error is 2.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

The survey is based on a poll from the Netherlands asking deliberately provocative questions such as:

"I don't like to be on a bus or train with a lot of non-native Quebeckers," and "I don't feel at ease when immigrants talk among each other in a language I cannot understand."

After posing questions about immigration, culture and diversity, the survey asked respondents if they had heard about the proposed charter that would ban public employees from wearing religious symbols.

The survey found support for the proposed Quebec Values charter ​​is higher in the following segments of the population:

  • Quebec Internet users who live outside of Montreal or Quebec City (70 per cent);
  • those 45 to 54 years old (72 per cent);
  • those with less formal education (no degree or equivalent to the high school diploma: 70 per cent);
  • those who have French as their mother tongue (71 per cent).