09/20/2013 19:24 EDT | Updated 11/20/2013 05:12 EST

Parti Québécois denies picking pro-charter council members

The Quebec government is denying allegations that it's attempting to stack the deck in favour of its proposed charter of values.

Yesterday the chair of the council on the status of women complained four recent nominations to the group’s board of directors were hand-picked to support the government's controversial charter of values.

Julie Miville-Dechêne said all of them are in favour of the charter that would see overt religious symbols banned for public sector workers.

The Minister responsible for the status of women Agnès Maltais defends the government’s recent nominations.

“I did not pack the council,” she said.

She dismissed the allegations, and pointed out the council has been in favour of secularism for a long time.

“Since five years now [the council has been] telling us we must go in this direction.”

But Miville-Dechêne said she’s worried about how the new nominations will affect the council's plans.

She said the council is divided over the charter and had been thinking about studying its impact on women.

Maltais says she has no problem with the council taking a closer look at the charter.

“If they want to make studies, if it's pertinent, they should do it ... No problem,” she said.