Mr Drainville et als. have been telling us that every thing will be peaches and cream after the law is adopted, but it amazes me that not one commentator challenged him on the presumptuous pipe dream.
The first thing I can say with confidence is that while many will reluctantly comply with the law, it won't change who these people are or the depth of their faith or their commitment to orthodoxy.
The childish idea that taking off the veil while at work will somehow magically transform these people of faith or rather as the militants see them, women under the hard lash of their husbands, is a fantasy that only a desperate mind could envision.
Perhaps the rubes in the boonies will applaud, hoping that finally the heathens in Montreal will be put in their place with the removal of veil the first concrete step in converting the immigrants into French-speaking, poutine and maple syrup lovers who eschew marriage and other traditional nonsense.
So what will really change with the passage of the law? Will the law bring social harmony as promised?
If you believe that, again I have swampland in Florida to sell you!
As I write these words I am astounded at the utter ridiculousness of such dangerous fantasy, because the law will do exactly the opposite, create social conflict on a level never seen in this province.
Credit to 'Red White Blue
While those who are for and against the law are evenly split, it is important to remember that those against the ban are highly motivated and have much to lose, making for an uneven fight.
Remember how easily the students paralyzed Quebec and that was fairly benign. What if your job was actually threatened and removing your hijab or kippah, not an option?
The fight will further cleave Montreal from the rest of the province, with a federalist mayor in Denis Coderre supporting those against the charter, after all, he will owe his election in great part to the Ethnics and Anglos who are rallying around him.
As all the health agencies and educational institutions in Montreal have come out dead set against the Charter, who will enforce the law?
Who will tell a daycare worker to go home and leave the classroom of children without supervision?
Who will tell the nurse that she cannot go on to the floor to serve patients, if she shows up to work and flat out refuses to remove her hijab?
Who will tell an emergency room doctor to leave the ER because of a kippah, pushing the wait time for injured patients from the now staggering twenty plus hours to perhaps a measurement in days, not hours?
Who will tell the cooks and orderlies in old people's homes to go home, rather than serve patients meals or clean their rooms?
The PQ is confident that everyone will obey the law, but they shouldn't count on it and therein lies an extreme danger.
The truth is that the entire system could be shut down and if those wearing religious symbols get the support from their co-workers as is most likely in the case of health workers in Montreal, the law will be the first to be roundly ignored.
Thousands of people flaunting the law is a situation unheard of in Canada, it is the stuff revolutions are made of.
Unlike the students, who could be rounded up and fined, doing the same to health care workers or teachers and civil servants would bring society to its knees.
It may very well become Quebec's very own version of the Boston Tea Party.
That is where we are headed to and in short, Montreal will go to war with the rest of the province, with demands that the city be excluded from the law, with the support of all the elected officials, hospital directors and school administrators.
It will be nothing short of a popular revolution, with thousands and thousands of honest and hitherto law-abiding citizens turned into scofflaws, and where bosses won't enforce the law because to do so would cripple the institution they run, be it hospitals, day cares, schools or government senior's residences.
The courts will be flooded with thousands of human rights cases and there is every indication that the law will be tossed out.
After all, the Charter of Values is even in direct conflict with the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Canada is a signatory; Link
- Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
- Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
In the meantime, violent confrontations will occur when those wearing head wear are confronted not by their superiors, but ordinary citizens looking to enforce the law themselves. Once the law comes into effect, it will become open season on those wearing head wear in the street, on the bus and metro and in the stores, even though the law has no effect there. Scenes like the confrontation pictured above will become a common occurrence.
The number of public confrontations of this sort has already risen dramatically during the current debate, so much so that the Montreal police have formed a special unit to deal with these hate crimes.
If the law passes, this unit will have to quadruple in size to handle the volume of complaints.
So far the Muslims have taken the abuse quietly, but what if that changes and they become tired of the public shaming? I hate to imagine.
And what about the cashier in the local grocery store who decides that minimum wage isn't worth the abuse hurled upon her by customers who continually castigate her decision for wearing the veil?
After all, she can easily claim psychological harassment and go on disability and who could really blame her?
What about those who will leave their jobs voluntarily because of the ban and enter the ranks of the unemployed swelling the welfare and Employment Insurance rolls? Most Muslim women who wear the veil work in low paying retail and clerical jobs, so the step down to welfare isn't that big a deal.
These are the very real consequences that nobody is willing to discuss.
If Bernard Drainville thinks that this will end well, he is in a for a nasty surprise. While every single journalist and politician is debating the Charter, nary a one is considering its effect.
It's time to open up that debate.