Tempo interviewed Isabelle Charest, MNA, in September. Tempo did not ask about Bill 21.
In a community where half the population is part of Quebec’s largest minority group asking our MNA how she could support denying some citizens, in this case the minority of us who wish to exercise the right to religious freedom by wearing a religious symbol, their fundamental human rights, would be appropriate.
Tempo could have asked how Madame Charest reconciles that Malala Yousafzai, the brave woman who was shot for wanting to attend school in Pakistan, who wears a religious symbol, can’t teach in a Quebec public school, yet in our so called neutral state, our children attend schools named after Roman Catholic saints.
The law may be popular but it is not right. One person denied their rights is denying all of us our rights. All over the world people are fighting for more rights, not less.
Madame Charest’s government is denying a small group of our fellow citizens their human rights because another larger group is uncomfortable with this minority exercising their rights. Where is it written that we have a right to be comfortable. People exercising their human rights will always make someone uncomfortable. That’s the beauty of a free open society.
Tempo should have held Madame Charest accountable for her government’s decision.
She is complicit in the promotion of this denial of basic human rights, rights outlined in both the Quebec and Canadian charter of rights and freedoms.You let her off the hook.
Michael Caluori, Knowlton