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
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
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
Parti conservateur du Québec - Conservative Party of Quebec