April 6, 2019 6:11 pm
Updated: April 6, 2019 6:15 pm

This week on ‘Focus Montreal’: April 6

Advocates are calling for better health care for women with disabilities.

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Focus Montreal introduces Montrealers to the people who are shaping our community by bringing their stories into focus.

The program airs on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. as well as Sunday at 7:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and midnight.

Take a look at who we’re meeting this week.

Immigration minister defends secularism bill

Opposition continues to grow against the Coalition Avenir Québec’s bill to ban religious symbols for those in authority.

READ MORE: Quebec Liberals accuse CAQ of dismissing concerns over secularism bill

On Wednesday, Quebec Premier François Legault hinted he may invoke closure to shut down discussions in the National Assembly.

Despite the heated opposition, Legault continues to describe the legislation as “reasonable.”

READ MORE: Quebec government refuses to say what penalties might apply to those who disobey proposed secularism law

Global News senior anchor Jamie Orchard sat down with Simon Jolin-Barette, the minister responsible for creating Bill 21, earlier this week.

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Opposing Bill 21

While the government maintains Bill 21 is reasonable, many Quebecers disagree.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce–Côte-des-Neiges borough Mayor Sue Montgomery says she will not tell anyone what to wear and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante says she’s focused on making sure the bill takes the city’s reality into account.

READ MORE: Will Montreal defy Quebec’s secularism bill?

Meanwhile, students and teachers at Westmount High School organized a protest to express their concern over the legislation with demonstrators of different ages and faiths creating a human chain around the school.

More protests are planned for Sunday in Montreal.

READ MORE: Montreal students, aspiring teachers blast Quebec’s secularism bill in school walkout

The contentious legislation has also prompted the formation of the Coalition Inclusion Québec, a citizen-led group against Bill 21.

Orchard spoke with Reverend Diane Rollert, who represents the coalition, to learn more about the group.

Better health care for women with disabilities

Those living with a disability can face a host of barriers as they go about their daily lives, with women being more likely to experience poverty, gender-based violence and systemic denial of their essential rights.

Health care systems lack policies and services that are inclusive to women with disabilities.

Those are just some of the issues being tackled by Bonnie Brayton, the executive director of the DisAbled Women’s Network Canada; Iris Kim, from the McGill Women’s Health Advocacy Club; and Cheryl Armistead, a faculty lecturer from McGill’s School of Nursing.

The trio joined Global’s Elysia Bryan-Baynes to discuss ways to make the health system more accessible.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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