Québec Solidaire proposes 'unifying' secular charter

Québec Solidaire has introduced a bill it says will help Quebec move forward with the ongoing debate surrounding secualrism in the province.

It's time to move forward, says MNA Françoise David

Quebec Solidaire MNA Françoise David says all Quebecers can unite behind her party's secular charter. (CBC)

Québec Solidaire has introduced a bill it says will help Quebec move forward with the ongoing debate surrounding secualrism in the province. 

Party spokeswoman Françoise David introduced bill 398 — a Charter of Secularism for the Quebec government, on Wednesday at the national assembly. 

Bill highlights:

  • No prayers can be recited before municipal councils or the national assembly
  • The president and vice-president of the national assembly will not wear religious symbols
  • ​No religious ornaments will be permitted inside the national assembly main hall
  • Removal of crucifix above the speaker's chair in the national assembly
  • Public sector employees must maintain religious neutrality and will not proselytize
  • Individuals in positions of power and authority with the state will not wear religious symbols

"It is time that we lead with a bill that will unite us ... Right now there are divides in certain sectors of Quebec society and this hurts individuals, as well as the whole of Quebec,” David said. 

She alluded to the Parti Québécois` charter of Quebec values, saying the province needs secular charter, and not a charter of mish-mashed Quebec values. 

"The goal of the bill introduced this morning is to demonstrate that we can quickly and clearly go forward with the secularization of the Quebec government by focusing on the key points behind which all of Quebec can unite," David said. 

David said she has spoken with the leaders of the other parties in the national assembly, and they all said they would welcome the bill with a positive mindset.