Bouchard Taylor Reasonable Accommodation Report (Canada)

The long-awaited 96-page report on “reasonable accommodation” was released last week in Québec, concluding that Quebecois can no longer define themselves in terms of their French-Canadian heritage and should accept immigrants more readily. Philosopher Charles Taylor and sociologist Gérald Bouchard based the report following hearings across the province and having reviewed more than 900 briefs submitted by the public. Of the 21 specific cases studied by the commission’s researchers, only six were found to have been reported in the media without distortion. The report concludes that high-profile incidents like prenatal classes that supposedly barred fathers to avoid offending Muslims and a maple-sugar shack that agreed to serve halal meals were overblown. The report states, “We can only ask ourselves what form debate would have taken if the public had obtained complete, objective information.” The hijab figures prominently in the commission’s findings. Prime Minister Jean Charest has promised to act quickly in response.