LBPSB Central Parents Committee launch petition against Parti québécois’ values charter

“Bill 60 infringes on individual rights”

By Kevin Woodhouse

The Central Parents Committee of the Lester B. Pearson School Board is just the latest organization to sound off against the PQ’s proposed Values Charter, having prepared a brief and petition opposing the legislature.

In a recent press communique, the committee noted that Bill 60 is nothing more than “a diversionary tactic from the real issues facing Quebec.”

The Quebec government debuted public hearings on the proposed bill last week and are expected to last until April unless a provincial election is called beforehand. Like the school board, the Central Parents Committee is waiting to hear when its day will come to present its opposition to the bill in Quebec City.

The bill’s component of forcing public workers, including educators, from wearing religious symbols deemed ostentatious or even banned articles of clothing like a turban would have a direct effect on the board’s employment protocol, not to mention going against the board’s educational policy of teaching tolerance and acceptance of other cultures to its students.

“The idea of having Ethics and Religious Culture curriculum in our children’s education and not allowing their teachers display their religious beliefs by wearing a piece of jewelry or piece of cloth is preposterous,” said Committee Chairperson Laura Derry. “The Central Parents Committee wants to be clear that we are against this Bill and we invite those in disagreement with Bill 60 to sign the petition found on the National Assembly website.”

“Let’s send a strong and unequivocal message to the government to tackle the real issues, like proper funding for public education and the efficient delivery of public services, for the sake of our children’s future,” noted the brief, adding that the PQ has also “failed to provide any evidence to support the need for such legislation.”

The parents’ committee vice-chairperson Mike Nalecz believes that the PQ’s proposed charter “sends a message that is contrary to the inherent teachings of our children” and that the proposed bill “infringes on individual rights.”

“We feel the charter wants to impose a cultural uniformity and hegemony, and this must be resisted,” said Nalecz. “As parents, we strive that our children learn to accept and respect differences.”

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