Bravo to CJAD’s Tommy Schnurmacher for this poignant, tongue-in-cheek missive to the Premier of Quebec.

My open letter to Pauline Marois

Posted By: Tommy Schnurmacher tommy@cjad.com ·

Dear Pauline,

Sorry that I have not written sooner; it really has been ages since we spoke. Actually, we’ve never spoken before, but you know what they say – better late than never.

You do know, Pauline, that you certainly don’t need an invitation to drop by whenever you are in town. Pop by my studio any weekday between 9 and noon. I work at CJAD. Yes, CJAD. It’s an English radio station right on the corner of Rene-Levesque and Papineau, you can’t miss us. Even if I’m interviewing some Anglo, never mind just come right in, sit down and make yourself at home.

I must congratulate you on the proposed Charter of Quebec values. Everybody, but everybody, is talking about it. Many of my friends are concerned about the massive debt and economic situation in this province and you cannot imagine how elated they are that you have managed to take their mind off such a depressing subject.

I know that we have a $258 billion debt, but I hear that you will borrow close to $2 million to help spread the word about the charter. Those Liberals would probably waste that money on hiring more nurses or some silly research project.

Before I forget, Pauline, please convey my best regards to that charming Monsieur Drainville who did such a fine job introducing the Charter the other day. The artist rendering of the hijabs and kippas and turbans causing such consternation was not exactly Mona Lisa, but it really was very well done. A fine Quebecois artist no doubt.

Monsieur Drainville was very helpful to point out that the new charter is intended to unite us and provide clarity. I must commend him on his kind approach insisting that these measures will be phased in over a five year period so that those minorities get used to the idea of slowly being deprived of their rights without feeling like anyone is in an unseemly rush.

When it comes to referendums, the Clarity Bill, we both know, is utterly appalling, but you can never have too much clarity when it comes to banning religious minorities from landing a government job, now can you?

I know that you are such a busy woman having to comment on all those Brits punching each other out because of multiculturalism, but I hope you can help answer some questions from some of my dim-witted friends who just don’t get it.

One friend owns a big depanneur. He doesn’t want to hire more Muslim women or any religious Jews or Sikhs, but he has heard that it is against the law to discriminate against anyone on the basis of religion. He wants to know if it would be okay for him to tell these ethnics that he does not want to hire them because he wants to have a neutral depanneur.

There is also a question posed by my neighbour who owns a small daycare centre. She has three Muslim women working for her who wear hijabs. Apparently, they do a very good job with the little kids. She wants to know if she should fire them right away unless they take off the hijab. If they refuse, should she attempt it to remove herself or will there be a specific Quebec government office to call.

Before I sign off , I must also commend you on your decision to keep the crucifix in place in the National Assembly. It’s part of the patrimoine, n’est-ce pas? For some reason, that Argentinian man in the Vatican, you know, the one who wears a white kippa, he is under the impression that the crucifix is a religious symbol, but what does he know?

Pauline, you have always said that Quebec appreciates diversity and that in Quebec, there is a place for everyone. Thanks to this Charter, minorities will know their place.

A la prochaine,

Tommy