The CAQ and the PQ are up in arms again about a suggestion from Montreal

City Councillor Marvin Rotrand that the Montreal Police integrate the hijab

and turban in its regulation dress code, a suggestion embraced by Mayor

Plante.

One wonders what's gotten into Mr. Rotrand to raise this issue at this time.

None of the Muslim or Sikh community leaders have asked for this. Actually,

most Muslim women do not wear the hijab in Quebec and most Sikhs don't wear

the turban either. So there is nothing to get worked up about. Even more

so since Quebec passed Bill 62 last year which requires government members

to exercise their functions with their

face uncovered. The hijab and the turban don't cover the face, so case

closed, no?

Not so in the case of François Legault who is trying to stir the ethnic and

religious pot again by asking that the State intervene and dictate to the

SPVM what its dress code should be. Mr. Legault worried out loud that there

are 1100 municipalities in Quebec... imagine if we let them decide

everywhere in Quebec "on such a strong signal regarding choices that we have

made". Deciphering his meaning, "we" have decided that religious signs

should not be worn in public, whatever Bill C-62 says...

The SPVM should adopt a dress code that is appropriate for its organization.

It should not be influenced by Mr. Legault's dangerous nationalism. If the

majority can trample on a minority's right to dress the way it wants, what

other rights of our minorities will he be willing to sacrifice? One only

needs to look at the Parti Québécois' record on the matter, where Mr.

Legault acted as MNA for 11 years, to answer that question.

The Conservative Party of Québec has a set of core values that acts as a

filter for every public policy it advocates. We may lose votes because we

have them but we will nevertheless cherish them and passionately defend them

because we know, in our heart of hearts, that they are the right thing to

do. One of these values is that governments should not stoke the tyranny of

the majority against the minority. Rather, they should ensure the

protection of minorities' rights and freedoms - as well as their corollary,

personal responsibility. So let the SPVM decide on its dress code based on

its operational needs while allowing its employees the right to exercise its

religious freedoms. It's a delicate balance but one that should not be

imposed by politicians playing the electoralist game six months before the

general election.

Adrien Pouliot

Leader

Parti conservateur du Québec - Conservative Party of Quebec

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