March 28, 2019 9:14 am

CAQ religious symbols bill to be tabled Thursday

The Coalition Avenir Quebec government is expected to table its secularism bill, fulfilling an election promise to ban many public sector employees from wearing religious symbols at work.


The Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) government will table its secularism bill Thursday, fulfilling an election promise to prohibit many public sector employees, including teachers, from wearing religious symbols at work.

READ MORE: EMSB vows not to comply with Quebec’s proposed religious symbols ban

Quebec Premier François Legault has said the legislation will target teachers, judges, police officers, prison guards and other public servants in what the government considers to be positions of authority.

WATCH BELOW: Quebec parties divided over religious symbols

Legault said the bill will preemptively invoke the charter’s notwithstanding clause to block court challenges that invoke rights violations.

READ MORE: Quebec’s attempt to track how many teachers wear religious symbols violates rights and freedoms: FAE

Opposition to the government’s plan is growing.

WATCH BELOW: EMSB community voices opposition to proposed religious symbol ban

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

The government counters that it won a mandate last October to introduce the legislation, which it says is supported by a majority of Quebecers.

READ MORE: ‘It’s a part of me’: Quebec teachers decry proposed religious symbol ban

Civil rights groups and religious organizations argue the bill is primarily aimed at Muslim women who wear the hijab.

WATCH BELOW: The FAE is saying a firm “no” to any head count singling out teachers wearing religious symbols

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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