In June this year, the Coalition Avenir Québec government passed a law last month, more commonly known as the Quebec law which prohibits police officers, public teachers and government employees, including lawyers among others in the public service from wearing religious symbols at work. The law instantly created a stir with civil society groups questioning its constitutionality.
The law predominantly targeted religious minorities, especially the Sikhs, and Muslims among other minority groups. In instances such as these, citizens instantly turn to the leader with apprehension, curious about his reaction on a debatable issue. Without delay Trudeau voiced his opinion to the situation; condemning it as “unthinkable and unacceptable.” Furthermore, he also added; “We do not feel that it is a government’s responsibility, or in a government’s interest, to legislate on what people should be wearing.”
The reaction was however as short as the time he took to say the words out loud. The wait for a more concrete response is still pending. The nation is waiting to know what he intends to do with the bill. If Trudeau wishes to be re-elected, shouldn’t he just offer lip service about multiculturalism, but also act and speak more clearly about his actions for and against the ban?
As of now, no action has been taken since the law was proposed. Instead it has become an issue of procrastination for the Liberal government. Furthermore, outside Quebec, 40% Canadians have approved the ban in their own province, with the exception of Alberta. Moreover, reports suggest, enthusiastic teachers are denied jobs, with respect to the Quebec’s Secularism Law.
Hasn’t this incidence further aggravated the scandalous position Trudeau finds himself trapped in repeatedly? If Trudeau hopes to be re-elected, would this hollow lip service about multiculturalism be enough to gain support? In such a scenario, a firm action and a stronger voice will speak in support about his intentions for and against the ban.
In a remotely similar episode, Trudeau was accused by an indigenous woman at a fundraising event which centered on compensation for the indigenous community suffering from mercury poisoning for over 50 years. The episode once again brought Trudeau in a scandalous limelight and the pledge he had taken to support a particular cause as a Prime Minister surfaced once again.
“You committed to addressing this crisis,” shouted the woman, interrupting Trudeau’s speech.
In the wake of the consequences, Trudeau spoke more clearly as he ate his words this time; “From time to time I’m in situations where people are expressing concerns … I always try to be respectful [but] I didn’t do that last night. I lacked respect towards them and I apologize for that.”
Episodic evidence about Trudeau suggests one shouldn’t swiftly reach to conclusions about his intentions. Leaving aside the repercussions this will have on Trudeau’s upcoming campaign, I believe it takes a lot of courage for a public figure, for one, to commit to a mistake, and two, to apologize acknowledging it.
Do you also support this thought? Will like to hear your opinions on it.