Daycare worker photo adds fuel to fire of Quebec Charter debate

MONTREAL – A photo showing two daycare workers walking with children in their care in Montreal has gone viral in Quebec – all because of what the women were wearing.

The picture was allegedly snapped the afternoon of Friday, November 15, 2013 in the borough of Verdun.

After being posted on Facebook, it was shared thousands of times on social media, creating a storm of criticism. 

The two women pictured were dressed in a burqa (a niqab covers the face while a burqa covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground). Their faces were covered, revealing only their eyes.

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According to a radio interview on 98.5 FM, a real estate evaluator named Elisabeth said that she was so shocked that she was compelled to take the photo.

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She said that she did not think it was appropriate for women be clothed in this way in Quebec.

But a mother of a child who attends the daycare took to Twitter to denounce growing criticism of the daycare workers.

In a tweet directed to the radio host, Genee Latreille wrote: “My son attends this daycare, the teachers are great, the service outstanding. Your sensationalism makes me sick.”

The owner of the daycare told the French newspaper Le Journal de Montreal: “It’s as if we were the victims of a witch hunt.”

The photograph comes just after the Quebec government introduced its controversial Bill 60, a proposed Charter of Values that addresses the issue of wearing “ostentatious religious symbols.”

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