… I say, “Vote PQ to save Canada”
“Between Marois, who is fighting against Saudi-based Islamism with her secular charter and Couillard, to whom this issue doesn’t appear to be a priority, I say, “Vote PQ to save Canada.”
April 1, 2014
The Toronto Sun
On Monday, when Quebecers go to the polls, they will do so to a drumbeat that says voting for Premier Pauline Marois’ Parti Quebecois is a vote against Canada.
This is not a new tactic for the federalists in Quebec.
In every election the same flags of fear are waved to scare Quebecers into voting against the PQ.
It’s portrayed as xenophobic and a threat to Canada. But is either allegation true?
As far as the PQ being anti-immigrant, that question should perhaps be put to Maka Kotto, a black man born in Cameroon, an immigrant chosen by the PQ to be Quebec’s culture minister.
As for the PQ being a danger to Canada’s identity, if Quebec ever separates from Canada — a very unlikely scenario — little will change in the way we live as citizens of a democratic, liberal, secular, constitutional monarchy.
However, if the inroads being made into our society by Saudi-funded Islamist groups remain unchallenged — as is the case in the rest of Canada — be prepared for what has happened in the UK.
There, sharia has made its official entry into the country’s legal system.
One of the most prominent federalists in Quebec shares this concern.
Former Liberal MNA Fatima Houda-Pepin left the Liberal caucus to protest her party’s unwillingness to confront Islamists who oppose Quebec’s secularism charter.
As the only Muslim woman in the Quebec National Assembly, Houda-Pepin told reporters, “I have spent 30 years of my life fighting fundamentalism, I cannot talk out of both sides of my mouth.” She is now contesting her riding as an independent.
Houda-Pepin is not the only person of colour or Arab background who is running on a platform supporting the Quebec values charter.
Comedienne Nabila Ben Youssef and poet Karim Akouche joined dozens of Quebec personalities who signed an article urging Quebecers to back it.
Algerian-born Rachid Bandou is one of four other PQ candidates of Arab heritage running on the PQ ticket. He told me in an e-mail the reason was to, “get an opportunity to explain the Secular Charter to voters who come as immigrants from many religions, and whom the Liberals are trying to scare by demonizing the Charter.”
The main opposition to the PQ comes from the Liberal party, led by Phillipe Couillard, who has been called upon in the campaign to explain his relationship with Saudi authorities from the time he worked as a surgeon for a state-owned oil company in the Kingdom and as a consultant to the government in 2010.
Couillard was attacked by Houda-Pepin, who called him a “strategic ally” of Islamic fundamentalists who, she said, use the freedom of religion clauses enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to “impose their political agenda” in Quebec.
I asked the Quebec Liberal leader to comment on his past relationship with Saudi officials but received no response to my e-mail.
In other published reports, Couillard has rejected allegations he endorses Islamic fundamentalism or the policies of the Saudi government, which he said most Quebecers reject.
Just because someone goes to work in a foreign country, he argued, doesn’t mean they automatically endorse its policies.
Still, between Marois, who is fighting against Saudi-based Islamism with her secular charter and Couillard, to whom this issue doesn’t appear to be a priority, I say, “Vote PQ to save Canada.”