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Charter could turn away French-speaking immigrants to Quebec
by Michelle Lalonde
Quebec's policy of favouring French-speaking immigrants over others has been like a welcome mat to the thousands of francophone Muslims from countries like Morocco, Algeria and Lebanon who now call Montreal home.
But some believe the Charter of Quebec Values tabled in the National Assembly last week will do just the opposite; its ban on the wearing of religious symbols by public sector workers discouraging not only Muslim immigrants, but others who will see the Charter as a sign of Quebec's intolerance toward minorities or of an unstable social climate.
According to Statistics Canada's most recent National Household Survey, more than half (58.8 per cent) of all immigrants who moved to Quebec between 2006 and 2011 spoke French as their first official language. Because French is spoken widely in countries like Morocco, Algeria and Lebanon, where Islam is a prominent religion, Quebec has attracted many thousands of immigrants from these countries.
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