Articles on Quebec

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People hold up signs as they march during a demonstration in Montreal, April 7, 2019, in opposition to the Quebec government’s newly tabled Bill 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Clashing rights: Behind the Québec hijab debate

The proposed secular law (Bill 21) in the province of Québec appears to be directed primarily against Montreal and Québec City, and reflects a fear of strangers in Québec’s more homogeneous regions.
Honouring religious freedom and behaving faithfully in public not only protect the rights of individuals but also safeguard the integrity of democratic governments. Peter Hershey/Unsplash

A cautionary tale: The unintended consequences of Québec’s Bill 21

Respecting religious freedom not only protects the rights of individuals, it safeguards the integrity and accountability of democratic governments.
Quebec Premier François Legault stands in front of the crucifix in the provincial legislature where he announced the religious symbol will be removed. Québec is both the most homogeneous province from a religious point of view and the most detached from its religious culture. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Secularism: Québecers are religious about it

Many Canadians are puzzled by Québec's law banning some civil servants from wearing religious symbols. A Québec sociologist explains the law is rooted in the province's troubled history with religion.
Premier François Legault, left, and Simon Jolin-Barrette, minister of immigration, diversity and inclusiveness, are seen at the provincial legislature in late March 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

The supposed benefits of Québec secularism bill don’t outweigh the costs

While few would deny secularism and religious neutrality are legitimate goals, they don’t justify Bill 21's undue restriction of minority rights.
Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault on the campaign trail last September before the election that saw his party form a majority government.

In Québec, Christian liberalism becomes the religious authority

The language of the neutral and secular state in Bill 21, like its precursors, presumes an invisible Christian default for the rules around public expressions of religiosity.
A French-speaking Canadian volunteer in Haiti part of the volunteer group EDV that helped recovery efforts after the earthquake in early June 2010. Emma Taylor/Wikimedia

How Francophone scholarship deepened our understanding of democracy and social change

Scholars such as Alfred Sauvy, Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan and Frantz Fanon wrote in French, but their work greatly contributed to our understanding of democracy and social change in all contexts.
Feb. 26 is World Spay Day, and spaying or neutering pets has many benefits. Shutterstock

World Spay Day highlights the importance of fixing our pets

Neutering or spaying pets has additional benefits beyond population control; these benefits include extending their lifespan, improving their health and reducing risk of certain diseases.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks about the federal government’s newly imposed carbon tax at an event in Toronto in October 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Rethinking Canada’s climate policy from the ground up

Canada's top-down approach to designing its climate policy has failed. It needs to find ways to engage with individuals.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford arrives to speak in Toronto on Dec. 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Doug Ford is wrong about minority-language services

Ontario's premier is drawing faulty parallels between Franco-Ontarians and Anglo-Quebecers when it comes to the services available to them in each province.
Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault on the campaign trail last September before the election that saw his party form a majority government. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Québec’s push to ban the hijab is ‘sexularism’

The Québec government's push to ban the hijab is 'sexularism' and also basic nationalism – one that pits an ‘us’ against ‘them,’ where the ‘them’ represent multiple threats to the nation.
Quebec premier-designate François Legault gestures as he addresses a meeting of his new caucus on Oct. 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

First Ontario, now Quebec: The notwithstanding threat

Threats by two of Canada's newest premiers to invoke the notwithstanding clause send a clear message to the federal Liberals: Ontario and Quebec do not play by the rules.
Demonstrators take part in a protest against Quebec’s proposed Values Charter in Montreal in September 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

New premier, same old story: Québec’s longtime anti-niqab efforts

If Quebec's new premier succeeds in passing 'secularization' legislation by wielding the notwithstanding clause, it will come at the cost of civil rights and the protective capacity of the Charter.
A woman cools down in a water fountain as she beats the heat in Montreal on Monday, July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Climate change can be deadly if you live alone

Heatwave deaths this summer make it clear: climate change is a severe public health threat, and those who live alone are at greatest risk.
Battle of St. Eustache, December 14,1837: Rear view of St. Eustache church and scattering of insurgents during the 1837 rebellion in Saint-Eustache, a city in Québec. Ink and watercolor on paper. Lord Charles Beauclerk/Library Archives of Canada

Montreal’s mysterious monument: Whose past do we commemorate?

Why is a memorial to 29 Francophone men who were executed by the British government as well as to 58 men who were exiled to Australia in 1838 hidden away in a Montreal cemetery?
Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks to reporters in Toronto on Sept. 10, 2018. He’s vowing to invoke the seldom used notwithstanding clause in his fight to slash the size of Toronto city council. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov.

The history of the notwithstanding clause

The notwithstanding clause in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms has seldom been used. But it's not totally gathering dust, and now Ontario Premier Doug Ford is threatening to wield it.

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