The Charter of Québec Values is unjust and is currently a dark shadow on Canada. It represents governmental racism towards religious groups and clearly violates the freedom of conscience and religion, which is a key fundamental freedom under section 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 1 of the charter clearly outlines these rights and freedoms are guaranteed within reasonable limits. There is clearly no reasonableness to this proposed Charter of Values, because public servants are there to protect society and a piece of cloth on their head does not change anything.
This is just my opinion and I might be bias, because I wear a turban and want to join law enforcement. Proposed laws like the Charter of Québec Values make me think, have we truly cut down on racism. Racism by citizens is one thing but, when the government clearly practices racism it makes me wonder, have we really progressed away from racism, or is this Canada more similar to the Canada that implemented the Head Tax on Chinese immigration several years ago.
Now that I have outlined my perspective, I will shift my focus to Fuller and Finnis and incorporate several components from the class lecture. Lon Fuller would view the Charter of Québec Values as not a valid law. For Fuller law must reflect an internal morality, if it does not it is not law. (30) From this basis the Charter of Québec Values is morally wrong because it is not for the greater good of society and marginalizes certain religious groups. It’s morally wrong for the Quebec government to discriminate against certain people and set restriction which prohibit them express their religious values, while working as a public servants. If there is already a Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the government has guaranteed those rights, it is morally wrong to make a law inconsistent to the previous law. Fuller would further argue that this charter does not have the force of law, because it is inconsistent with parts of his King Rex moral tale. For example the 6th failure of King Rex was, he enacts contradictory rules. This is relevant to the Charter of Québec Values because it is contradictory or opposing the basic principles of fundamental freedom in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As I mentioned above the government cannot on one hand guarantee rights like freedom of religion and on the other hand implement the Charter of Quebec Values, it is a contradictory law.
Finnis on the other hand would further label the Charter of Quebec Values as not valid law. Finnis would do this because it does not further human flourishing. For instance, this charter can certainly cause unemployment for several religious public servants and limit them to thrive in life which in essence would suppress human flourishing (35). Finnis would additionally say it is not valid because it limits the value of religion and spiritual experience. The Quebec government is directly targeting religious beliefs and viewing these public servants as a threat to the public, even though they are peacefully practicing their spiritual beliefs. Finally Finnis would say it is not law because it reduces knowledge for its own sake, for example it decreases public knowledge of religion and increases ignorance in society. The public may not directly know why these public servants wear religious symbols or headwear and might view them as a threat if the government views them as a threat.
Although Fuller would argue it is not a valid law, the arguments of Finnis are much stronger because his seven forms of human flourishing directly included religion and spiritual experience in them. Finnis also provides a more effective way of determining what a just law is. A key weakness in Finnis’s work is he argues that sometimes it is important to follow an unjust law because the overall legal system does not become weak (36). In conclusion, the Charter of Quebec Values is unjust, both Fuller and Finnis would agree with some of the arguments I made above. It is unjust law because it’s not for the greater good of society and is not fair to religious and honest individuals working in the public sector.
Here is a link of another attack on religion by the province of Quebec. The soccer federation wanted to ban turbans from soccer.
Charter of Values
Pavlich, G. (2011). Law and society redefined . (pp. 30-36). Toronto : Oxford University Press.