Some notes on Bill 21

With the CAQ invoking closure this weekend to force through Bills 9 and 21, I find I’m unable to stay away from the whole thing. Read Lysiane Gagnon pointing out that Quebec is not France and need not slavishly follow the lead of the Republic in matters of laïcité. She refers to a Le Devoir op-ed by Louis Balthasar, an emeritus professor of politics at Laval, who also draws a strong distinction between Quebec’s (till now) gradual and civilized withdrawal from institutional religion, vs. the religious wars and strife we’ve seen elsewhere.

I heard Simon Jolin-Barrette on the radio saying it was vitally important to pass Bill 21 to deal with issues in Quebec, and I wondered again, why? What issues? We are not remotely under threat from religious hegemony here yet the shadow of the Grand noirceur still hangs over us.

Martin Patriquin also has a good piece on Quebec’s double standard on women. More amusing was how much this piece made Benoît Dutrizac foam at the mouth.

Update: Also adding the detail from this CTV piece now that Bill 9 is passed; it “scraps immigration applications from 18,000 skilled workers and refunds their fees, forcing them to start over in a new process.” François Legault underlined that he’s only doing what the people want and there is no compromise possible.

The CAQ may take it further this fall, apparently mulling a law limiting how an individual’s religious conscience can allow them to choose. This is specifically based on the 2016 case of Éloïse Dupuis, a young woman who insisted she be allowed to die rather than accept blood transfusion after a difficult birth, based on Jehovah’s Witness principles. She died. Till now, courts have sometimes taken minor children away from parents temporarily to give them medical treatment that the parents rejected, but I don’t know of anywhere that competent adults can have their wishes, however stupidly founded, actively contravened.