“The member for Ahuntsic, Ms. Maria Mourani, has made comments that don’t reflect the position of the Bloc Québécois,” Bloc party leader Daniel Paillé said in a statement Thursday.
He said the charter is “a necessary and fundamental approach for the Quebecois nation.”
The Montreal-area MP went public with her opposition to the Parti Quebecois secularism bill on Wednesday. Writing on her personal website, Mourani said the charter would result in “stigmatization and exclusion of certain communities, particularly some women,” according to a translation from French to English.
The proposed charter has been criticized as unfairly singling out Sikhs and Muslims. Mourani, who is of Lebanese background, was one of five Bloc MPs in the House of Commons before her expulsion.
Quebec has for months been embroiled in a divisive debate about “reasonable accommodation” of ethnic and religious minorities, reignited in June by a Quebec Soccer Federation ban on turbans. The ban was scrapped after national and international condemnation.
The PQ government further stoked the flames this week with details of its proposed values charter, which would ban public servants from wearing Muslim hijabs, Sikh turbans, Jewish kippas and other “overt” religious symbols.
Quebec Secular Charter - Montrealers react
The Conservative government of Stephen Harper warned Tuesday that it could mount a legal challengeagainst the Quebec law if it is seen to be unconstitutional.
“We are very concerned by any proposal that would limit the ability of Canadians to participate in our society and that would affect the practice of their faith,” said Jason Kenney, federal minister for multiculturalism.
Tom Mulcair has called the charter “completely unacceptable.”
“Human rights don’t have a best-before date, they’re not a popularity contest,” the NDP leader told reporters while at a caucus meeting in Saskatoon. “To be told that a woman working in a daycare centre, because she’s wearing a head scarf, will lose her job is to us intolerable in our society.”
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau also expressed his disappointment.
“Canadians and Quebecers are better than that,” said Trudeau on Wednesday. “I want to reassure Canadians that Madame Marois does not speak for all Quebecers.”