This article takes a historical and theoretical approach to the application of paradiplomacy to foreign policy, citing examples such as Scotland, Catalonia and Quebec.

Canada is widely hailed as a multicultural success state. As the first country to adopt multiculturalism as official policy, and with high rates of integration among immigrant populations, it is often looked at as a model to be followed. Recently, though, the French province of Quebec has dented this global reputation with the introduction of Bill 60, popularly known as the Quebec Charter of Values.

Pauline Marois and Philippe Couillard are both working to shift away from the battle over sovereignty and national unity as they head into a crucial pivot point for the Quebec election – the leaders’ debates. Mr. Couillard, the Liberal Leader, insisted Sunday he will not rush to seek recognition for Quebec’s “distinct character” after he earlier said he would seek support for a new constitutional deal from provincial premiers and federal party leaders.

One man said he wouldn’t want his prostate checked by a female doctor who wore a head-to-toe chador. Another said Montreal is already “strange” to the rest of Quebec and could get stranger. A former nun said she switched cashes at Staples rather than be served by a woman in Muslim head scarf. The Parti Québécois government wrapped up the first week of hearings into its highly contentious Charter of Values.

About half of Bloc Quebecois and Parti Quebecois supporters think that Muslims and Jews have too much influence in their province, while nearly a third of British Columbians think the same of Sikhs and Asians, a new poll suggests. While that sentiment is particularly pronounced by separatists and in Quebec in general, the rest of Canada fares little better in the Forum Poll on multiculturalism, with about one-third of Canadians saying Muslims have too much influence in their home province.

Quebec’s separatist government released a plan on Tuesday to ban government workers — from judges to day care employees — from wearing “overt and conspicuous” religious symbols. The proposed “Charter of Quebec Values,” which would also require members of the public to uncover their faces when dealing with the government, generated widespread controversy after much of it was leaked to a Montreal newspaper earlier this summer. Critics have called the measure unconstitutional and xenophobic.