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Quebec bans Christmas carols in government-subsidized daycare centers

Catholic World News - December 28, 2010

Quebec’s family minister, Yolande James, has banned all religious instruction in government-subsidized daycare centers. Since 1997, the province has subsidized 85% of daycare costs, with parents paying $7 per child per day.

“I want the young Quebecers who attend our daycare services to do so in a spirit of openness to others and diversity,” said Yolande James, Quebec’s family minister.

Under the new regulations, subsidized daycare centers are permitted to set up Christmas trees and Nativity scenes, but are forbidden to identify Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as figures in the scene, according to two Canadian newspaper reports. Christmas carols are also forbidden.

“At a Montreal daycare centre run by Catholic nuns, a parents association was so terrified at the prospect of losing governmental subsidies that it decided to apply the guidelines six months before they’ll be implemented,” according to Globe and Mail columnist Lysiane Gagnon. “So the week before Christmas, the little kids sang insipid Bing Crosby ballads instead of beautiful traditional carols such as ‘Silent Night.’”

To help enforce the regulations, the government is tripling the number of its daycare inspectors.

“We view it as explicit discrimination against the rights of religious communities to educate their children in the values and principles they hold dear,” said the president of the Muslim Council of Montreal, which plans to file a lawsuit.

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  • Posted by: ltoscan2645 - Dec. 29, 2010 3:48 AM ET USA

    As a Canadian citizen I can report Canada HAS lost its way. This was mostly facilitated by successive liberal governments starting in the early 1970's who began bit by bit dismantling the judeo-christian character of the country. All led by "devout" "practicing" Roman Catholic prime ministers, who were admonished by the country's church hierarchy.

  • Posted by: stpetric - Dec. 28, 2010 8:32 PM ET USA

    Where government money goes, government control is sure to follow.

  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Dec. 28, 2010 7:37 PM ET USA

    @rpp: As pathetic as this action of a provincial government is, Quebec is not Canada. Such nonsense could never happen federally under the current Prime Minister, who is also the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. And kudos to the Muslim and Jewish leaders for speaking out against this stupidity.

  • Posted by: rpp - Dec. 28, 2010 4:46 PM ET USA

    How sad. Canada seems to have lost her way.

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