Coercing people to change in ways that causes much pain – e.g. – forcing a Sikh man, who provides service to the people of Quebec, to take off his turban under the duress of losing his job, for some unnecessary, vague reason that does not justify such pain, is disturbing. That way this proposed charter betrays a level of insensitivity or worse a lack of understanding of the minorities of Quebec by the government’s and the ruling party’s leadership. It takes one back to French Philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville’s definition of democracy – a tyranny of the majority.
It is about individual freedoms – the right to live according to your cultural sensibilities, customs and traditions that are dear to you. If they are not harming others then how can people be asked to abandon them. It would lead to loss of identity which is already under stress amongst many, and have longer term social, political and economic consequences. There are issues of diversity, human rights and justice at stake here. It has less to do with loss of faith. Moreover if dress or symbols do not matter as you say then why worry so much about them? Canada has a rich tradition of diversity, openness, acceptance, tolerance, compassion. This charter threatens all that. I have lived in many multicultural societies ostensibly less free – Singapore, India, Dubai – but never did I see before a Malay or Indonesian woman, to name two examples, being asked to remove her head dress because she was a public servant.