New citizenship course could be challenged, researchers warn

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New citizenship course could be challenged, researchers warn

The new approach could open the door to legal challenges, according to the analysis published by the Institut de recherche sur le Québec.

This new school year, students in some high schools in Quebec must take the new course in Quebec culture and citizenship (CCQ) which replaces that of ethics and religious culture (ÉCR), as part of a project pilot. According to an analysis released Wednesday by two researchers associated with the Institute for Research on Quebec, the new approach could open the door to legal challenges.

The document, titled < em>From Ethics and Religious Culture to Culture and Quebec Citizenship, was written by lawyer François Côté and teacher David Santarossa.

After thoroughly analyzing the content of the new course and comparing it to that of its predecessor, Me Côté comes to the conclusion that the new approach proposing citizen critical reflection on religions opens the door to probable legal challenges.

The Ethics and Religious Culture course will be replaced, in some schools, by a course on culture and Quebec citizenship, all as part of a pilot project.

Believing and practicing parents wishing to pass on their faith to their child might fear seeing these convictions shaken if the students were called upon to sharpen their critical thinking about the religious phenomenon and its impact on the evolution of Quebec society.

While he says he is quite convinced that there will be legal challenges, Mr. Côté maintains, however, that the success of these steps is far from certain, whereas #x27;he himself believes that the CCQ course is completely in accordance with the law in the civil law tradition of Quebec.

Furthermore, the researchers are offering preventive solutions to the government in order to avoid litigation in court. For example, that an exemption be offered to students from religious families, that the course be purged of its religious content or even that the government modify the Public Education Act and protect the course from CCQ by resorting to to the notwithstanding provision.

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