POLITICS

Highlights of Quebec's values charter

11/07/2013 03:07 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:53 EST
QUEBEC - The Parti Quebecois government presented its values charter Thursday as Bill 60, and it threatened an election unless opposition parties agreed to table the controversial legislation.

With the bill now tabled, the PQ has also hinted that it might continue to treat it as a confidence matter while it's debated in the legislature.

Here are some highlights of the plan, which would set restrictions on hijabs, turbans, yarmulkes and larger-than-average crucifixes:

— Prohibits state employees from wearing objects such as headgear, clothing, jewelry or other conspicuous adornments that overtly indicate a religious affiliation.

— Failure to comply can lead to firing. Provides for ''dialogue'' with a supervisor after a first offence, then disciplinary measures would apply. Compliance would be treated as a mandatory job condition.

— How many people will it affect? The government doesn't know. It says counting everyone affected would amount to racial profiling. It says it hopes nobody loses their job over this.

— It would also affect people in the private sector. It says that a public body would force any person with whom it has entered into a service contract or subsidy to comply with the dress code.

— Provides for a five-year transition period, with health-care institutions granted a longer phase-in.

— States that the primacy of French will be added to the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms, setting up a potential legal conflict with the Canadian Constitution.

— The bill could even apply to someone who has been elected and wants to sit in the legislature. It says the rules also apply to members of the national assembly, although they could request a special exemption from the assembly's office.

— Quote: "We want this debate to take place in a serene atmosphere - a serene and respectful atmosphere." — Premier Pauline Marois.