The Charter threatens the autonomy of community organizations

Press Release – For immediate release 

To read the PDF version: click here.

The Charter threatens the autonomy of community organizations

Montreal, January 20 2014

The Centre for Community Organizations (COCo) Staff and Board unanimously oppose and denounce the Quebec Government’s Bill 60 on the Charter. On top of the social justice issues it raises, it contains provisions that would allow the Quebec Government to apply most of the Charter’s restrictions to nonprofits and community organizations, unilaterally and without the possibility of appeal.

It is problematic that thousands of nonprofits, which are not part of the state, could find themselves forced to impose restrictions on their workers such as banning conspicuous religious symbols. Ironically, this could even apply to faith-based organizations.

Titled Charter affirming the values of State secularism and religious neutrality and of equality between women and men, and providing a framework for accommodation requests, Bill 60 has two sections that relate to this problem. Chapter IV section 10 could apply the Charter to any non-profit receiving provincial funding. Chapter X section 37 gives the government further powers to apply the Charter’s provisions unilaterally to any organization, building or function it deems fit.

Briefs submitted in December for the January public hearings by community organizations have mentioned these concerns. Nevertheless, politicians and the media have so far not informed the public over the impact of the bill on nonprofits at large, beyond the case of CPE’s, Centres de Petite Enfance, specifically targeted by other parts of Bill 60.

About The Centre for Community Organizations – COCo:

COCo is a provincial non-profit organization working primarily with English-speaking, bilingual, and ethnocultural organizations in organizational development and leadership training, information dissemination, social analysis, research, and by strengthening links between organizations and their sectors.

COCo’s mission is to promote social justice, active citizenship, democracy, and just socio-economic development by supporting the development of healthy organizations and strong communities through education.

For more information, contact Gabriel (Communications Coordinator)


To read the PDF version: click here.

For COCo’s non-exhaustive list of organizational stances on the Quebec Charter of valuers, click here.

For the exact resolution adopted by COCo’s staff and board, click here.

For COCo’s initial discussion of concerns around the Charter, click here.