By Peter J. Smith

  SAGUENAY, Quebec, Septmber 24,2007 ( – A Quebec mayor warned government commissioners that Quebec needs a revival of moral values and needs to retain its Catholic heritage, and not further alienate it from Quebec life.

  La Presse Canadienne reports that Mayor Jean Tremblay of Sanguanay, the sixth most populous city in Quebec, defended the Catholic faith as an essential part of Quebec’s heritage and values before the Bouchard – Taylor commission on the accommodations of religious minorities.

“The Catholic religion is one of the most beautiful values we have in Quebec,” said Mayor Tremblay. Tremblay mentioned that 95 per cent of Quebecois identify themselves as Catholics and so it enjoys a certain presence in Quebec. Tremblay said that he himself has maintained the practice of prayer before the sessions of Sanguaney’s municipal council.

“We’re a bit soft. When someone, who represents three per cent of the population, wishes to do something, everyone bends over backwards,” Tremblay told the commission. “But when the Mayor wishes to have prayer, we tell him to stop in order to respect the principle of secularism!”

“I’m not saying that the Catholic religion must squeeze out the others. But Catholics themselves are not respected. Religious freedom is for those who don’t have any of it. This is getting out of hand”, he added.

  Mayor Tremblay then blasted the assembled Quebec politicians for having no desire to defend Quebec’s religious values. The people continue to abandon morality and in Mayor Tremblay’s city, there are two suicides a week on average.

  Mayor Tremblay told the commissioners that Quebec needed a return to moral values, not a further diminishment of the Catholic faith in Quebec society.

“Since we forget our principle values, it is not going so well after all,” Mayor Tremblay warned. “The people are not at all happy.”