Controversial charter of values sparks reaction in Ottawa-Gatineau

Residents in Ottawa-Gatineau have been reacting to the proposed charter of Quebec values released this week.

Proposed charter of Quebec values would ban religious symbols, separate church from state

On Tuesday, Parti Québécois cabinet minister Bernard Drainville unveiled details of the proposed charter of Quebec values, which would place restrictions on the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)
A diagram from the charter of Quebec values website illustrating banned overt religious symbols for public employees. (

Residents in Ottawa-Gatineau, along with people across the country, have been reacting to the proposed charter of Quebec values released by the provincial government this week.

On Tuesday, Premier Pauline Marois' Parti Québécois unveiled details of the controversial bill, which would separate church and state and ban public employees from wearing overt religious symbols on the job.

If the charter were adopted by the Quebec legislature, the wearing of kippas, turbans, burkas, hijabs and "large" crosses would be banned for civil servants.

The plan would apply to judges, police, prosecutors, public daycare workers, teachers, school employees, hospital workers and municipal personnel.

The charter would also require that anyone who received or administers services from the state would have to uncover their face.

Radio-Canada coverage

Our colleagues at Radio-Canada in Gatineau have also been following the story. Click below for links to their coverage in French.

Marois says charter will unite Quebec

Marois has defended the proposed charter, saying it will unite the province.

"We're moving forward in the name of all the women, all the men, who chose Quebec for our culture, for our freedom and for our diversity," said Marois.

Though no timeline has been announced, the bill is expected to be tabled sometime in the coming months.

CBC Ottawa has been keeping an eye on this developing story. Click on the links below to hear some local reaction.