"Quebec Debates How to Reasonably Accommodate Multicultural Mix"

January 29, 2007

Author: Dene Moore

Source: The Chronicle Herald


MONTREAL — Men banned from pre-natal classes at a Montreal community health centre so as not to offend Muslim, Sikh or Hindu women.

The windows at a community gym obscured so that boys at the Orthodox synagogue across the street couldn’t see the Spandex-clad women inside.

Most recently, a suggestion that it’s time to remove a large wooden crucifix from the Quebec national assembly.

Is it political correctness run amok or the natural growing pains of an increasingly multicultural society?

That’s the debate in Quebec, where politicians, minority advocates and everyday residents are weighing in on what is "reasonable" accommodation of racial, ethnic and religious minorities in what is an increasingly diverse society.

Mario Dumont, leader of the Action democratique du Quebec, said Quebec should quit bending over backwards to accommodate minorities and, instead, set out in law reasonable compromises to be granted to religious and ethnic groups.