Montreal bus driver could face sanctions for showing support to Bill 62 protesters

A Montreal bus driver covers his face and honks his horn to support protesters of the province's controversial Bill 62, which would force people to have their faces uncovered to receive services, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. The driver could face sanctions for his actions. Phil Carpenter/Global News

A Montreal city bus driver could face disciplinary action for showing support to protesters denouncing Quebec’s controversial religious neutrality bill, a spokesperson for the Société de transport de Montreal told Global News on Saturday.

Bill 62, passed earlier this week in the National Assembly, requires citizens giving and receiving public services to do so with their faces uncovered — something opponents argue directly discriminates against Muslim women.

READ MORE: Quebec’s religious neutrality bill passes with a vote of 66-51

On Friday morning, protesters wearing surgical masks and other face coverings, stood at various bus stops on Parc Avenue as a show of solidarity with those affected by the new law. The demonstrators did not board any buses — a symbolic gesture meant to show how women wearing face coverings would be banned from taking public transport.

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WATCH: Montrealers cover faces, protest Quebec’s religious neutrality bill

Click to play video: 'Montrealers protest Quebec’s religious neutrality bill'
Montrealers protest Quebec’s religious neutrality bill

It was during the protest that a bus driver — who has not been identified — was seen covering his face and honking enthusiastically as he drove by.

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“We ask our employees to be apolitical,” Amélie Régis, STM spokesperson, wrote in an email to Global News.

Régis said the employee will meet with supervisors and “depending on his file, he could face disciplinary measures.”

Those measures could include a notice or even lead to a suspension, according to Régis.

READ MORE: Quebec face-coverings ban leaves Muslims fearful

While the bill was first intended for provincial employees, it was extended to include municipal and public transit workers this year.

Quebec is the first jurisdiction in North America to ban religious face coverings for public services, but it’s still unclear how the new law will be enforced.

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