Could the crucifix in the National Assembly soon be taken down?
On Wednesday the City of Montreal announced the two crucifixes at city hall would be coming down and will eventually become part of a city hall historical exhibit.
What about the crucifix in the National Assembly?
"The National Assembly here, [has] always decided to maintain and that's the position of the government," Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness Minister Simon Join-Barrette told reporters in Quebec City.
Case closed... or is it?
"No, I say we still have discussions," Premier Francois Legault said, contradicting his Minister. "Nothing is decided."
Legault's more flexible stance on the issue is a change from previous comments on the matter, where he previous said the crucifix would stay because it didn't fall under his government's proposed religious symbols ban.
FWIW, Premier @francoislegault & minister @SJB_CAQ had separate scrums at the same time in different locations at #assnat. Upstairs, Legault showed openness to possibly removing crucifix from Blue Room; yet, downstairs, Jolin-Barrette seemed firmly committed to keeping it. #polqc— Maya Johnson (@MJohnsonCTV) March 20, 2019
"I don't see this as a religious sign. I see this as being part of our history and part of our values," he told CTV after being elected. "We have a cross on our flag. I think that we have to understand that our past, we had Protestants, Catholics, they built the values we have in Quebec. It's part of our history. I think we have to recognize that and not mix that with religious signs."
Now, after seemingly closing the door and locking it shut, Legault appears to have opened a window.
"Everyone has to compromise," he said. "There are good arguments for [leaving the crucifix], and some arguments against."
The crucifix has been in the Salon Bleu since 1936. In 2008 the Bouchard-Taylor Commission said "In keeping with the notion of the separation of church and state, we believe that the crucifix must be removed from the wall of the National Assembly."
Ajay Pangarkar, Professor of Accounting and Strategy at Carleton University
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