Quebecois Journalists Revisit Reasonable Accommodation Following “Honor” Killings

Speculation that the deaths of three Montreal-area sisters and their female caregiver could have been “honor” killings has rekindled the reasonable accommodation debate in the Quebec press.

Le Devoir columnist Jean-Claude Leclerc called the tragedy, which took place in Kingston, “the pretext for another dispute over tolerance in Canada.” Le Journal de Montreal’s Richard Martineau declared the killings a result of a “barbaric” extremist ideology and concluded by quoting French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s statement regarding the banning of the burqa in France: “We should not be ashamed of our values, we should not be afraid to defend them.”

In La Presse, Patrick Lagacé reserved some of his outrage for the police officers involved in last week’s press conference.

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.

Details Emerge from the Bouchard Taylor Reasonable Accommodation Report

The long-awaited 96-page report on reasonable accommodation was released last week in Quebec, concluding that Quebecers can no longer define themselves in terms of their French-Canadian heritage and should accept immigrants more readily. Philosopher Charles Taylor and sociologist Gerald 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.

The Reasonable Accommodation recommendations from the province of Québec released

The report by sociologist G_rard Bouchard and philosopher Charles Taylor, based on their reasonable accommodation debates in the province, states that there is a problem of perception and not a problem with integrating immigrants. Bouchard and Taylor claim that both the francophone and immigrant communities must come together in a moral contract to ensure social harmony. Immigrants should learn French while the majority francophone population must also participate in the integration of Qu_bec society. The commission added that in trying to accommodate the needs of minorities, courts should be avoided. The province’s premier, Jean Charest, added, We cannot erase our history. The crucifix is about 350 years of history in Quebec that none of us are ever going to erase, and of a very strong presence, in particular of the Catholic Church.