(Updated September 13 – see below) – Maria Mourani, a federal Member of Parliament with the sovereignist Bloc Québécois party, has been expelled from the party for her criticism of proposed Charter of Values in the predominantly French-speaking province of Quebec.
In a statement released Thursday (September 12) Bloc Québécois leader Daniel Paillé said Mourani was expelled because she had refused to resign from an ad hoc group of sovereignists promoting inclusive secularism, and because her statements the previous day were in opposition to the party’s position on the proposed legislation.
The proposed Quebec Charter of Values was made public Tuesday by the separatist ruling Parti Québécois government of the province of Quebec. It proposes to prevent government employees from wearing conspicuous relgious symbols such as a Muslim scarf, a Sikh turban or a large Christian cross.
Mourani questioned whether this was the best way to achieve secularism and independence in the province.
First elected in 2006 in the Montreal riding of Ahunstic, she was re-elected in 2008 and in 2011. In 2011, she was only one of five Bloc MPs re-elected after a crushing loss of electoral support for the party.
Her name has already been removed from the party’s website.
Meanwhile on her website there’s a note saying she will be making a statement on Friday, September 13, and not giving interviews until then.
Update September 13, 2012 – In a press conference Friday morning, MP Maria Mourani quit the Bloc Québécois party and said her expulsion from the caucus Thursday was made without her being included in the discussion. She reiterated her concerns about the proposed Quebec Charter of Values. She said she will sit as an independent MP until the federal election of 2015.
Bloc Québécois press release of expulsion (in French) – here
Letter of sovereignists for inclusive secularism (in French) – here
Bloc Québécois party website – www.blocquebecois.org
Maria Mourani website – www.mariamourani.org
Montreal Gazette – Bloc Quebecois boots MP Maria Mourani for opposing Quebec values charter – here
CBC News – Maria Mourani, expelled Bloc MP, quits the party – here
RCI – Province of Quebec’s charter of values sets off discussion, outrage, and support (audio) – here