Canada Politics

Quebec MP Maria Mourani removed from Bloc Quebecois caucus for opposition to values charter

Canada Politics

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Former Bloc Quebecois MP Maria Mourani

A Quebec MP has been removed from the Bloc Quebecois caucus as punishment for her opposition to Quebec's proposed Values Charter.

According to Globe and Mail, Maria Mourani was expelled on Thursday for saying that the Parti Quebecois' secularization plan was 'discriminatory' and doesn't help the sovereignty movement.

"Whether they like it or not, they are discriminating against minorities," Mourani said Thursday, prior to being booted from the Bloc, according to the Globe.

"It has never been easy to convince people from ethno-cultural groups that the independence movement is inclusive. The signal here is not very encouraging.

"In terms of strategy, this is grave. Independence is not going to happen without including everyone. And it most certainly isn’t going to happen without Montreal."

Mourani made the comments as a spokesperson for a pro-sovereignty group called "les indépendantistes pour une laïcité inclusive," that supports a more moderate form of secularism. CBC reports that Bloc leader Daniel Paillé asked Mourani to step down as the spokesperson but she refused to do so.

[ Related: Muslim community leader says they’ll fight Quebec’s Values Charter on the streets, in the courts and at the UN ]

On Tuesday, Quebec's Democratic Institutions Minister Bernard Drainville outlined the details of proposed charter which, if passed, would ban all public employees in that province from wearing overt religious symbols in public institutions.

The plan has been met with widespread opposition across the country. All major federal parties have spoken out against it — except the separatist Bloc.

According to Montreal radio station CJAD, the Bloc issued this statement on the the party's website reiterating their full support of the PQ plan.

"The member for Ahuntsic, Maria Mourani, held to a position that reflects in no way the position of the Bloc Québécois.

The Charter of Quebec Values, far from constituting, as Mme. Mourani says, an electoral ploy, a grave strategic error on the part of the sovereignty movement or even worse, a manifestation of ethnic nationalism, is the opposite — a necessary and fundamental step for the Quebec nation."

Mourani sent out a release saying that she would not speak to the media about her expulsion until Friday.

One person who has spoken about it — on Twitter at least — is Liberal leader Justin Trudeau:

Without Mourani, the Bloc are reduced to only four seats in Parliament

(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)

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