Roundtable: Quebec’s Charter of Values and the Challenge of Diversity
Time: 1:30 -3 pm
Venue: Project Room 1.06 in 50 George Square, Edinburgh
As a sub-state nation within Canada, Quebec has struggled with diversity in recent years. In the late noughties Quebec experienced the ‘reasonable accommodation crisis’, a debate that centred on the degree to which Quebec society should accommodate various cultural practices of its immigrant populations. The Taylor-Bouchard Commission sought to address these concerns within Quebec’s existing practice of interculturalism. However, the issues of accommodation once more came to the fore in 2014 with the Parti Québécois’ (PQ) proposed a ‘Charter of Values’, a proposal that was strident in its secularism.
This roundtable seeks to place the Charter of Values in context, establishing its origins in the strategic thinking of the PQ, and distinguishing the Charter from Quebec’s established policy of interculturalism, as well as English-speaking Canada’s multiculturalism. The panel comprises the renowned sociologist John A Hall (McGill University), historian Christine Ross (McGill University) and Director of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre of Canadian Studies, James Kennedy.