Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Marois says she didn’t mean to offend with England comments

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois speaks at a news conference on Sept. 6, 2013. Ms. Marois says she didn’t mean to offend by comments made about England in newspaper Le Devoir.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois says she didn't mean to offend anyone with comments blaming multiculturalism for social unrest and bombs in Britain.

She said her comments were made in the context of a discussion about different models of integration around the world.

Marois added that she didn't intend to interfere with United Kingdom policies.

Story continues below advertisement

"It's up to Quebec to develop its own model, according to its own values and history," Marois said Saturday in a statement posted to the Parti Québécois website.

The statement is Marois' first on the subject since an interview published Friday with Montreal's Le Devoir, which set off a flurry of criticism.

Marois also said Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard should encourage more respectful debate about her proposed Charter of Values.

Couillard called on her to apologize for the comments on Friday, saying they are unworthy of a head of government.

In the newspaper interview, Marois said France's efforts at secularism "are not perfect," but still preferable to the multiculturalism policies practised in England.

"In England, they're smashing each other in the face and throwing bombs because of multiculturalism and nobody knowing any more who they are in that society," she said.

Leaked elements of the PQ's values charter suggest people working in the public service could be banned from wearing religious symbols such as the hijab.

Story continues below advertisement

Quebeckers: How would a ban on religious symbols at work affect you? Tell us here

Report an error

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at