I have been seeing various summaries of the Charter of Xenophobia hearings in Quebec, and this one is as good
as any other. What seems shocking to people is not so much that people are bigots but that they seem to willing to display it without any shame.
Well, I am, alas, unsurprised. Why? Because this is not the first time we have been through this in Quebec. A few years ago, a somewhat better intentioned but still flawed effort was made to figure out if there was a crisis in Quebec--were accommodations being made to include minorities (religious, ethnic--linguistic did not count) too much or not enough? The Liberal Party initiated it, the hearings produced heaps of bigoted statements, but the panelists came up with the reasonable conclusion that there was no crisis--there was not too much accommodation and perhaps we ought to focus on tolerance (if I remember correctly).
This time, the effort is clearly way more cynical, as the PQ is seeking to divide the third party in the system. This
hearing is aimed at rousing up enough support among those who are concerned about "Others" despite never encountering them (there is far more support for the Charter of Xenophobes outside of Montreal), so that the next election will lead to a PQ majority. Either that or perhaps the bill passes with CAQ support and then faces problems in federal courts (although I am confused since it does not seem likely to pass muster in Quebec courts either). If the federal courts rule against it, then the PQ has yet another reason to castigate federal institutions and press for secession. Win-win? Oy-oy.
Anyhow, this process is facilitating more hate in Quebec. Way to go, PQ! Hot mess? Indeed.
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