Madame Christiane Pelchat’s Affidavit

Dear Blog Readers,

Please find below the Affidavit of Madame Christiane Pelchat, lawyer, President and General Director of Status of Women Quebec. Madame Pelchat served in the Quebec National Assembly from 1985-1994 as the Member for the riding of Vachon.

In July 2009, the Status of Women Quebec commissioned an independent feminist researcher, Yolande Geadah, author of three books and several publications, “to prepare an opinion on polygamy and women’s rights.” Her report was completed in November 2010.

The Status of Women Quebec “after taking into account the three dimentions of law, immigration and society” made 11 recommendations regarding polygamy (pp. 5-6 of affidavit) And, on November 25, 2010, the National Assembly of Quebec adopted the following motion:

  • That the National Assembly affirms that polygamy is not part of the fundamental values of Quebec society; and
  • That it considers this practice to be contrary to the right to equality between women and men, and that it approves the position taken in this regard by the Conseil du statut de la femme  (Status of Women Quebec)

This, by far, is the most remarkable event to happen in to happen in the course of the Reference (as it has come to be known) yet! 

The first recommendation is that “(t)he criminalization of polygamy in Canada must be maintained, and governments must vigorously support the constitutionality of Section 293 of the Criminal Code before the courts.”  Go to the affidavit and read for yourselves the recommendations set out by Status of Women Quebec that are now adopted by the Quebec National Assembly. 

Oh, that other legislatures would be so diligent in the fight for equality of women’s rights. 

Thank you, Status of Women Quebec and the Quebec National Assembly.

Nancy Mereska, President
Stop Polygamy in Canada


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Status on December 14, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    The stasus of women Quebec research and conclusions are no doubt what the BC Attorney Generals office wants to see presented. The conclusions were spot on and the research valid. I am concerned however, with the disrespect shown to men in polyandrous relationships. Nowhere in the research is there any mention of harm to men who are forced to become the “subsequent spouse” of women who already have a spouse. Understandably, polygamy is publically manifest moreso as patriarchical polygyny, however, the failure to include harms to mens’ dignity, financial resources, fulfilment as humans of equal merit to women and children, with respect to fundamental rights such as the right to not become the spouse of a person who has a spouse, is sadly lacking because the authors’ focus so narrowly on harm to only female gender , children and young men. I understand that the subject matter of the report was not charged with examining issues relating to equality issues and the fundamental human rights of men who are forced into becoming the spouse of a woman who already has a spouse.
    Still, its sad that no-one speaks for the smallest demographic and most vulnerable group that is equally affected by state sanctioned polygamy.


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