Photo cred - Janet Best

Once Marois left the provincial office, we thought talks of implementing the Charter of Values, the controversial (to say the least) bill that would prohibit public sector employees from wearing any religious garments, were long dead. But, like a zombie outta the grave, the CoV is back with a brain-eating vengeance, and it still isn't okay.

Bernard Drainville, potential new leader for the Parti québécois, announced yesterday he will be presenting an updated Charter of Values on Thursday, reports La Presse, and is using the Charlie Hebdo tragedy and the emotion from the "Je Suis Charlie" movement as a means to rejuvenate the bill.

Drainville explicitly linked the CoV to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in his speech on Monday, stating Quebec must move forward with the CoV after the recent terrorist attacks performed by religious extremists. If the province doesn't, then "they win."

Rumour has it the new CoV will be changed so that current government employees will still be able to wear religious apparel, while employees hired after the CoV comes into effect (if it does) will not.

Piggybacking on the Charlie Hebdo attack to reinvigorate the Charter of Values is essentially using a tragedy as a political tool by using the strong emotions left by the former to fuel the latter.

It's also incredibly ironic how the Je Suis Charlie movement,  all about freedom of speech and expression, is being implicitly tied to the CoV, a bill that restricts the right to freedom of religious expression for Quebec citizens. Ironic, but very much not okay.

For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte


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