Sunday, 21 July, 2019

Quebec's CAQ government introduces bill banning religious symbols for public workers

Quebec Minister of immigration diversity and inclusiveness Simon Jolin-Barrette./Ph. DR Quebec Minister of immigration diversity and inclusiveness Simon Jolin-Barrette./Ph. DR
Sandra Phillips | 31 March, 2019, 20:14

On Wednesday night, the English Montreal School Board adopted a motion declaring its refusal to implement legislation restricting the wearing of religious symbols.

Even though there has been a massive public outcry, not only in Quebec but also nationally - and even with the English Montreal School Board, one of the largest teacher's union in Quebec, ready to file a legal challenge against it and who just yesterday announced they will not adhere to the ban, Premier of Francois Legault and his CAQ government have tabled Bill 21 today that would ban numerous provinces workers from wearing religious symbols.

The bill, titled "An act respecting the laicity of the state", has been proposed by the right-leaning Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government, elected previous year with pledges to restrict immigration and cement secularity.

The crucifix has hung above the Speaker's chair in the national assembly since 1936, and the Legault government said last October it would not remove it because it is an important part of the province's heritage.

This is the fourth time that Quebec has seen the introduction of a bill banning religious garb or symbols, with this being the broadest proposal to date.

Seven organizations including Amnesty International and the province's main women's federation attacked the secularism bill as discriminatory.

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Air Force brigadier general, said, "We've been fooled enough times, so the steady pressure will continue to have an effect". Mr Trump has stressed he enjoyed a good personal relationship with Chairman Kim during the summit in Vietnam.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled opposition to the bill on Thursday, according to media reports.

The proposed legislation was introduced Thursday as Bill 21, titled "An Act representing the laicity of the State". "Quebec is a democratic, progressive and inclusive society; yet this bill is regressive and is squarely against these core values", said NCCM Quebec spokesperson Sarah Abou-Bakr. The wearing of the turban and the Sikh articles of faith is not optional for Sikhs and a ban on these articles of faith is, in effect, a ban on Sikhs in positions of authority. "I ask everyone to be very careful and to keep in mind that we are talking about human beings", she told reporters.

"I never in my journey thought I couldn't", she said. Daniel Beland, director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, told CTV News Channel that there appears to be a "large majority" supporting a ban on judges and police officers wearing religious symbols, while support is lower for other sectors under the proposed ban.

Among those who would be affected are teachers, police officers and judges. The proposed ban has even made worldwide headlines, but that seems to have no influence on the Quebec government who has fatuously promised to use the Notwithstanding Clause to stop any legal challenges to Bill 21.

"The government is encouraging these kinds of ideas rather trying than trying to root them out", he said.

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