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Too much religious accommodation in Quebec, say Quebecers: poll

Quebec Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship Bernard Drainville presents the Charter of Quebec values Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at the legislature in Quebec City.
Quebec Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship Bernard Drainville presents the Charter of Quebec values Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

TORONTO – According to a recent survey conducted by Angus Reid, two out of three Quebecers (64 per cent) believe they are doing too much to accommodate different cultures and religions in their province.

Canadians outside of Quebec don’t see it that way, with 50 per cent saying Quebec does “too little,” and 33 per cent saying the province does “the right amount.” Only 17 per cent agree they do “too much.”

The survey, conducted online between Sept. 6 to 10 in response to the proposed Quebec Charter of Values, also found that only 12 per cent of Quebecers feel they are doing “too little” and one quarter (24 per cent) feel the balance is right.

Out of the 1,011 Quebecers surveyed, three-quarters (77 per cent) take the view that “the values of Quebec’s society are at risk due to reasonable accommodation,” while 23 per cent believe “reasonable accommodation enriches Quebec’s society.” From the 1,014 people surveyed outside of Quebec, 34 per cent agree while 66 per cent feel reasonable accommodation enriches Quebec society.

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“It would appear more Canadians outside Quebec stand with the thousands who marched through the streets of Montreal over the weekend to defend their minority rights than in their own province,” says Shachi Kurl, Vice President of Angus Reid.

The charter would ban the wearing of overt religious symbols for public employees. Promotional materials for the charter specifically listed turbans, kippas, hijabs and burkas as being unacceptable, should the charter pass.

An Angus Reid poll conducted last week pegged support for the bill around two-thirds of respondents, although support is stronger outside Montreal, where members of cultural communities are fewer.

-With files from Billy Shields

About the survey:

Angus Reid conducted the online survey from Sept. 6 to 10, 2013 among 2,025 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. 1,011 were surveyed within Quebec and 1,014 across the rest of Canada. The margin of error is +/- 3%.

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