QUEBEC CITY — The Parti Québécois thinks enough is enough: Quebec must give itself the tools to fight religious fundamentalism.
The party wants the National Assembly to appoint a special observer – a sort of ombudsman – whose job it would be to collect data on radical groups.
The PQ put its idea in a bill and Wednesday called for a nominal vote to put the Liberals on the spot.
“If there are dissensions, let’s air them out,” said PQ House Leader Agnès Maltais.
Last year, the Liberals expelled one of its own on this very issue.
Fatima Houda-Pepin studied Muslim fundamentalism and suggests the province do more to thwart radicals.
She supports, in part, the PQ’s Charter of Values and specifically asked for the creation of a research centre.
The Premier thought his MNA was going too far.
Now he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place.
It can be argued that Philippe Couillard faces a resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism but refuses to encroach on civil liberties.
His Immigration Minister continues to tip-toe around the issue, while her colleague from the riding of Bourassa-Sauvé said she thought appointing a special observer was a good idea.
“It’s important to know what elements of radicalization there are in the province and it’s important to always be studying and having knowledge so that you’re able to cope with the problems that arise,” said Rita de Santis.
The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) compared the PQ’s bill to apple pie: basic and harmless.
But the Liberals could choose not to call it for second reading, especially since the University of Sherbrooke has just announced it is creating its own research unit on radicalization.