Diversity Matters – sunday reflections: reasonable? accommodation?
Although i grew up in Quebec, i have lost touch with that province – both in terms of keeping a regular correspondence with old family friends and in the sense of having a feel for the place. I have however, tried to follow, at least a little, the media accounts of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission and the debate in QC about “reasonable accommodation.”
Everything about the Commission fascinates me – its mandate and co-chairs, Charles Taylor and Gerard Bouchard – both of whom are rated by many as two of this country’s leading intellectuals; the reponse to the commission’s hearings -from QC participants and its media; to the coverage here in “english canada.”
What’s reasonable when it comes to Quebec as a distinct society and the way that society welcomes/integrates/adapts/accepts its people? Is there a line in the sand to be drawn between one culture – its values, language, social norms, rules and laws and other ‘newer’ cultures?
What does it mean for one culture/language to “accommodate” another?
How would “english canada’ react to its own “r.a. Commission”?
There’s a ton of writing out there on all this & many bloggers are weighing in…see this re Cardinal Marc Ouellet’s Spiritual Void a Problem in Quebec – i found his words moving even though i didn’t fully understand or necessarily agree with his point of view…
I’m interested about perspectives on why the commission was formed, did it “do the right thing,” and was the media coverage “faulty” in any way. How did the world react to press stories about the commission hearings?
Recently i attended a literary symposium in honour of Roy Miki – participants from across Canada and the U.S. attended. Check out the Canada Council’s mini-bio on this poet and icon of our academic and social activist circles. At the workshops, one of the speakers, Monika Kin Gagnon, who teaches at Concordia university, gave a critique of why the commission was formed. and its subsequent media coverage. She’s written a book on my “to read” list – Other Conundrums: Race, Culture and Canadian Art (Arsenal Press) Anyone out there read it?
Super Canned: a list of the headings used to categorize the 37 final Bouchard Taylor recommendations:
the integration of immigrants
inequality and discrimination
the French language
research to be conducted
So, thoughts anyone?