The debate over Quebec’s controversial Bill 62 is not going away: the leader of the Parti Quebecois (PQ) now says he’ll table his own secularism bill before Christmas – and it could include a more complete ban of religious face coverings.
Critics might call it a Charter of Values 2.0 — the PQ says it’s opening the door to new legislation on religious accommodations.
“If we do it, we’re going to do it seriously,” said Jean-François Lisée.
He called Bill 62 a failure and said Quebec needs to start over on a new secularism bill — one that could include a full ban of the niqab and burka in public spaces.
“We will have a panel of experts telling us what has happened in France, in Austria, in Switzerland, in Norway, in all these countries that applied total or partial bans,” Lisée said.
The Liberals said this move seems like a strange political strategy for the PQ leader after his party’s defeat in 2014.
“Even Mr. Lisée was saying that the reason why the population didn’t vote for them was because of their charter,” said Liberal house leader Jean-Marc Fournier.
If elected, both the PQ and the CAQ say they will scrap Bill 62. The CAQ says they will ban authority figures like police and judges and even teachers from wearing religious signs.
However, where all the parties seem to agree when it comes to religious accommodations is on religious face coverings. Fournier pointed out that all opposition parties are proposing bills that are similar to Bill 62.