Canada Politics

Quebecers feeling unwelcome because of Values Charter are welcome in Calgary, says Mayor Nenshi

Canada Politics

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Naheed Nenshi

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi was lauded by Canadians for his handling of the Calgary floods earlier this year.

We he be celebrated for this?

According to the Globe and Mail, Nenshi slammed Quebec's Parti Quebecois government, on Sunday, for its proposed Values Charter which will reportedly ban public employees from wearing religious symbols in public institutions.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands at the downtown end point for Calgary’s 23rd annual Pride parade, Mr. Nenshi referenced “a certain part of this country” and a national debate about “how people should be restricted from certain jobs because of their religious faith.”

The [Quebec values] charter is “an absolute violation not just of Canadian morals and ethics, but of what has made our country successful. If we are not able to attract the very best people from around the world to want to work and learn and invest and raise families in this country, we don’t have a future as a country,” he said.

“It is important for people across Canada, and particularly in Quebec, to know that if they don’t feel welcome in that community, they’re certainly welcome in this one,” he added.

Nenshi is just the latest politician to criticize the PQ government's plan which is expected to be introduced in Quebec's National Assembly this month.

Both federal opposition leaders Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau have spoken against it.

And, on Thursday, Prime Minister Harper said that he will withhold judgement but will want to assure that the secularization plan, once made public, will uphold the fundamental rights of Canadians.

[ Related: Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks about Quebec’s proposed Values Charter ]

While the charter has spurred controversy across the country, it seems to have buoyed the PQ in the opinion polls.

According to the Le Devoir, a new Leger poll released on Saturday claims that the governing party is just 4 percentage points behind the opposition Liberals: the Liberals have 36 (-2) per cent support while the PQ sit at 32 (+5) per cent.

[ Related: Quebecers support the Parti Quebecois’ Values Charter: poll ]

The Leger poll supports the findings of a Forum Research poll, from last week, that suggested that 58 per cent of Quebecers actually support the Values Charter.

And, for those that don't: they now have the 'option' to move to Calgary.

(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)

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