COCo’s Official Stance on the Quebec Charter of Values (Bill 60)

COCo’s Staff and Board adopted the following resolution in December 2013 to oppose the Quebec Charter of Values (Bill 60).

Read the full position statement by clicking here.

Key to understanding this statement are two specific sections of the Bill, Section 10 (Chapter IV) and Section 37 (Chapter X), which can both be employed to impose provisions of the Charter on community organizations.

Excerpt from the position statement:

” COCo’s Staff and Board unanimously denounce and oppose Bill 60. We are concerned about the impacts of Bill-60 on the organizational health and development of community organizations, specifically limiting the capacity of autonomous organizations to protect the rights of their employees, to determine and to apply their own internal anti-oppressive human resource policies. For these reasons, COCo’s Staff and Board ask the Quebec Legislature, Minister Bernard Drainville and the current Quebec Government, in order to respect its previous engagements towards supporting the autonomy of the community sector, to withdraw Bill-60. ” 

Read the full position statement by clicking here.

COCo has since issued a press release to spread the word about this stance.

Click here to read the press release.

3 replies
  1. Lainie Basman says:

    As a long time friend of the org, once contract worker for COCo, and former board member of several COCo member oganizations, I’m heartened to see that you’ve come out unilaterally against the offensive Charter of “Values”. It’s so important that the community sector take a stance against the letter and spirit of this proposed legislation.

    However, I don’t agree with the way you’ve set out your position. You focus your critique on the impact the Charter would have on the autonomy of community organizations to enact their own anti-oppression policies. As far as I’m concerned, the issue here is not community sector autonomy. The sector is already not autonomous when it comes to issues such as human rights legislation, labour standards, health and safety regulations, etc. etc.

    The key issue here is that the proposed charter is a tool for xenophobic discrimination and would result in the most fundamental violations of the freedom of conscience and expression of everyone in society including community sector employees . These measures would be no more acceptable if community organizations decided completely autonomously to adopt them of their own initiative.

    Best regards,
    Lainie Basman

    • Gabriel says:

      Hi Lainie,

      Thanks for the support and the disagreement as well. It’s definitely valuable feedback.
      In the hopes of clarifying this somewhat, COCo took this stance in total support of other groups taking stances against the proposed Charter for a diversity of good reasons, and recognizing the validity of those reasons. We were addressing our network at large however with a specific concern we saw for the community sector. While some community organizations were as divided as the public at large was, some siding with the Charter, others against it, we were seeing too many that were systematically discussing it as something that would only affect public sector employees, not as something that would apply to their own workplace. It’s definitely possible, in the scope of potential opinions, for one person or group to be for the application of a measure to the public sector, but not to the community sector. We wanted to unpack that issue somewhat for people whose opinion may have been in that in-between space. Further, COCo doesn’t make a habit of producing official positions on work conditions in the public sector: it’s the application of the Charter to the community sector as a workplace, and to the access to community services by community members, which really confirmed this was a Bill we had to take a stance on ourselves, on top of the wonderful work of other advocacy groups and community organizations which had already stated everything that could go wrong with this Bill in various press releases, statements, petitions, marches and other actions of resistance. Feeling that those elements had already been said, and that we’d covered them in our newsletter, website and social networks in the previous months, we did focus on the potential application of the Bill to the community sector.

      I hope this makes things somewhat clearer in terms of our position, but this is feedback we’ll be taking into consideration in future advocacy work at COCo.
      – Gabriel

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