A white guy in a turban, the Parti Québécois, and the so-called Charter of Values

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      It's not the most elegant photo.

      And I can understand why you would look at it and think it's hilarious.

      I've been amused myself when I've seen this photo of me in a turban from the 2011 Vaisakhi parade.

      But it's no laughing matter that the Parti Québécois wouldn't want me working for the government if I showed up with this on my head, no matter how well I spoke French.

      If the Quebec national assembly passes the party's proposed Charter of Values, public servants will be fired if they don't remove their turbans.

      For that reason, I've posted this photo on my Twitter profile. I hope others post similar photos.

      Many years ago, we went through an idiotic debate in Canada over whether RCMP officers should be allowed to wear turbans.

      In the end, common sense prevailed.

      I can understand why Premier Pauline Marois is concerned about the preservation of French in Quebec on a continent where English is the dominant language.

      I have a good idea why francophones in Quebec want to maintain the language for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They shouldn't suffer the same fate as the Acadians and the francophones in Manitoba and Louisiana, who lost their language in a tide of English.

      But people can still speak French wearing a turban or a hijab or a niqab or a yarmulke.

      Of course, everyone in the Parti Québécois knows this, which is what makes the party's Charter of Values so repulsive.




      Sep 12, 2013 at 2:41pm

      Charlie, you looks good in Sikh's gear. But a precedent needed, hopefully one that will get courts attention. If they pass the bill - just done yarmulke, turban above it, maybe a cross or two, put over all that a burka - and try to get a job there. if they discriminate against just on one item..... You for sure will become famous


      Sep 12, 2013 at 3:35pm

      People are missing why this law is being tried. The tipping point is Islam. Instead of just hitting the intolerant Islamists, Quebec is painting the broad brush, when the problem is narrow. Most everyone gets along. It is Islam that will not adapt to Canadian values of free and equal treatment of both sexes. They want and demand exceptions. Failure to subdue often results in protests and violence. Just look at what is happening in France, Sweden and Britain. When a certain population threshold is reached it will happen here as well.

      Dave Harper

      Sep 12, 2013 at 5:26pm

      Where can I get one so I can post my photo / tweets with a turban? I can just imagine Putin pointing out North American hypocrisy. Or maybe LBGT rights will be next on the block in the PQ alternate universe. I teach French and I am appalled that the most francophone province in the country seems to be turning its back on " liberté " let alone " égalité ".

      Warren Walker

      Sep 12, 2013 at 9:09pm

      Can't we have special headgear days like jeans days?

      Bike Helmet Day
      Turban Day
      Towel Head Day
      Fake Afro Day
      Balaclava Day
      Santa Hat day
      Conehead Day
      Propeller Head Day
      Top Hat Day
      Cat in the Hat Day
      Wicked Witch of the North day...
      My favourite..Stephen Harper Birthday Hat Day...
      Oh, the possibilities...

      Mr. Komagata Maru

      Sep 13, 2013 at 10:45am

      To me this is a very sinister and subtle attempt of ethnic cleansing.
      It's goes against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms we have in Canada and there should be a class action suit brought against the Province of Quebec.

      If Pierre Trudeau was alive, he would have articulated it in such a way for the media to understand.

      To me the Quebec Government is behaving like the Israeli Government.


      Sep 13, 2013 at 12:45pm

      An Ontario hospital is running an ad in Quebec looking for hospital workers. The ad shows a woman in a head scarf and the recruitment pitch says "We don't care what's on your head.We care what's in it". It's great to see this kind of response to this mean-spirited initiative by the Parti Québécois.

      Rockin the Turban

      Sep 13, 2013 at 4:29pm

      Charlie rocking the Turban :)

      It's absurd to ban cultural established Religious Symbols.

      It's all part of who we are as a Country.

      It's the Separatists trying to get traction on any issue.

      Ontario citizen

      Sep 14, 2013 at 7:46am

      I think this is great. It's about time someone had the guts to start this. RCMP uniforms are what they are, they should have not allowed turbans to be worn. That was a huge loss for Canada. If you want to come here, leave your old life behind and become one of us. The government forces diversity down your throat everywhere you go and claims it is so good for us. Has anyone figured out how allowing outside influences and practices not to mention tons of immigrants pouring into our beautiful country and making it diverse good for us? I think this is one small step in the right direction to maintaining our own identity, way of life and our own religion. Immigrants should be required to assimilate and denounce their religions before entering our country to live. The truth is being hidden from us by the rich and powerful. They are the only ones who are benefiting from this forced tolerance of foreign influence. They own and control all the media. If John Q. Public really knew what our own government was really up to and the level of corruption that runs so deep in EVERYTHING gov controlled the population would be appalled. Don't just believe me, research this for your selfs. Trust me, this is great news, I am so impressed by Quebec attempting to save our wonderful country. Those who oppose this are just brainwashed liberal morons, and how many times have they be caught in the corruption lately?

      Proud to be Canadian

      Sep 14, 2013 at 1:24pm

      Ethnic cleansing? That's disgusting that the first thing you think of is that. Ask yourself this, if I went to a country like India or Iran or Syria and forced them to put up a Christmas tree and flat out refused to cover myself up being a woman, how long would I last? My family are immigrants and they came here worked their asses off and helped build our country not make us as Canadians change our rules because of others religious beliefs. RELIGION should not be at the workplace!!!!!!! What you do on your time is your own thing! As for the RCMP they should have stood their ground but no one will until this country has been destroyed and our values and customs abolished to accommodate people who are here from other countries. I work in the public sector and the amount of health card fraud is disgusting and funny it's never Canadians born here. Always some family of immigrants that don't even live here!!! You people are paying for this! Just remember people if we went to their country we'd be forced to live by THEIR rules!!!


      Sep 14, 2013 at 4:18pm

      In the guise of trying to protect all its citizens from religious impositions, the ruling Parti Québécois (PQ) seems to be going overboard with its recent proposal to amend the Quebec Charter. Instead of the supposed goal of unifying its citizenry, it looks like it is a creating a firestorm not only in the province itself but throughout the country. Ordinary citizens as well as politicians of all stripes have joined in a chorus of condemnation of the proposal.

      The federal government has vowed to ‘defend’ the rights of Canadians guaranteed under the Charter of Rights which conflicts with Quebec’s own charter with regards to the protection of individual rights. It is difficult to understand why the government decided to go this route. While it apparently respects the majority of its citizens, it has trampled on its minorities.

      As Filipinos, we had an inkling of this attitude when the infamous ‘spoon and fork’ case erupted in Montreal some years ago. A young Filipino boy was ‘reprimanded’ for not using a spoon and knife as is the practice in Canada but used a spoon and fork instead as Filipinos does. His lunch room supervisor ‘degraded’ the boy in front of his classmates according to his mother who filed a case against the school for discrimination. Although the mother won the case at the Human Rights Tribunal, it was lost in the Court of Appeal. It will also be remembered that Jacques Parizeau, a PQ stalwart and former premier once blamed ‘ethnics’ for losing an election.

      In our mind, there is a grain of intolerance, if not outright racism in these cases. While we do not want to condemn the whole Quebec society of racism and xenophobia against minorities, this recent effort buttresses that perception. A substantial number of Filipino immigrants have settled and made Quebec their home.

      It would be a travesty and a tragedy if now they are to be excluded if they happen to display distinctive ‘symbols’ in public. Fortunately they don’t - unlike other minorities like Sikhs or Jews and Muslims for example.
      Filipinos though, are fond of hanging a cross or a rosary inside their car mirrors. If they happen to work for a provincial institution like a school or hospital, they might be subject to this law if passed.