MONTREAL – On day three of Quebec’s hearings into the province’s proposed charter of values, the testimony started with some very personal revelations.
Thursday’s first witness, Yves Gauthier, revealed that he was not comfortable receiving a prostate exam from someone wearing a burqa or chador.
According to the executive director of the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, accommodating patient requests is not a problem. “We have no issues at the Jewish General Hospital with respect to accommodation,” Lawrence Rosenberg said.
When a patient requests to be treated by a doctor or a nurse of the same gender, “we accommodate that wherever we can.”
The charter would forbid public employees from wearing visible religious symbols including hijabs, turbans, kippas and larger-than-average crucifixes.
On the second day of hearings, testimony was heard from a wide range of people, for and against the controversial proposal.
One speaker said the proposed legislation doesn’t go nearly far enough whole others called Bill 60 a gross violation of federal and Quebec charters of rights.
Andrea Richard, a 79-year-old former nun, said she wholeheartedly agrees with the charter, and argued it doesn’t far enough.
In earlier testimony, the commission heard from Martin Laperriere, who said he believes Bill 60 violates the federal and Quebec charters of rights.
But it was the Liberals’ shift in position that garnered the most attention.
The Liberals are moving ever so slightly towards the PQ’s position of banning garments such as the chador.
The Parti Quebecois government insists it won’t back down on the values charter and is ready to make it an election issue if need be.
– With files from The Canadian Press