Liberty, Equality, Laicity: Québec’s Charter of Values and the Reframing of Politics

Jerome Melancon


The debate around Québec's proposed "Charter of Values" in 2013 and 2014 occupied the centre of the political, intellectual, and academic attention space. However, this proposed legislation was discussed across Canada on the basis of limited information in view of documents which were only available in French and of the specific historical and political context that remained unexplored. Once set in this context and in light of the manifestos that answered it, the Québec "Charter of Values" can be seen as an attempt to develop a renewed cultural nationalism in terms of criteria for adhesion and belonging to the Québecois nation. In appealing to values said to be held by Quebecers and establishing a distinction from those who do not share these values of democracy, equality between women and men, and laicity, the "Charter of Values" has the effect of providing a new framework for democratic politics and the exercise of rights and freedoms.


Laicity; Québec; Charter of Values; multiculturalism; interculturalism; religion

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@Canadian Political Science Review (CPSR). ISSN 1911-4125