Bernard Drainville, creator of Quebec values charter, back in politics with CAQ

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QUEBEC — A prominent Quebec radio host and the man behind the Parti Québécois' controversial values charter is making a return to provincial politics, this time under the Coalition Avenir Québec banner.

The news of Bernard Drainville's political run with Premier François Legault's party was confirmed to The Canadian Press by a reliable source.

Drainville, a former PQ minister, will be a candidate in the Quebec City region in next October's provincial election.

Montreal radio station 98.5 FM said Drainville, who will turn 59 next week, resigned Thursday from the midday radio show he had hosted for six years.

He is known for presenting a so-called values charter when he was in government in 2013. The charter called for people who wear religious symbols to be prohibited from working in public institutions.

The idea for the charter fell when the PQ was defeated in the 2014 election, but the CAQ under Legault took up the secularism mantle and adopted Bill 21 in 2019. That law prohibits certain public employees — judges, teachers and police officers — from wearing religious symbols at work.

Drainville worked as a journalist between 1989 and 2007 before jumping to provincial politics with the PQ. He was elected four times between 2007 and 2014.

Under Pauline Marois' short-lived minority government from 2012-14, he held the title of minister responsible for democratic institutions and citizenship participation. He was briefly the PQ house leader between September 2015 and June 2016, before leaving politics.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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