How Montreal's STM Bus Drivers Feel About Quebec's Face Veil Ban
A bus driver's perspective.
If you’re confused and angered by Bill 62, the Quebec government’s, then you’re not alone.
The STM feels the exact same way.
Currently being debated in the Quebec National Assembly, Bill 62 is a “religious neutrality” act that will ban any person from wearing a face-covering piece of religious attire while receiving public services.
Quebec Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée confirmed that includes taking the bus.
STM workers are particularly worried, and it seems like upper management is a bit peeved, too.
Since no clear directive has been outlined by the Quebec government as to how and when a a public sector employee, like a bus driver, should enforce the likely-soon-to-be-legal ban on face-covering religious attire, the STM is concerned about what will happen.
Clear directives aren’t expected to be made until summer 2018, after a series of consultations.
Speaking to CBC, the STM expressed concerns that, before a clear directive is established, STM drivers will essentially take the law into their own hands.
The STM doesn’t want STM employees “interpreting the law in their own way” said an STM spokesperson.
And, according to a union spokesperson for STM employees, drivers “don’t want that responsibility.”
So from upper management to the lower echelons of the STM workforce, no one is really happy about Bill 62.
Quebec politicians are displeased, too. Gatineau’s mayor, Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, spoke about the utter confusion being caused by the bill.
Denis Coderre spoke out against Bill 62 in the past, expressing that the Quebec government is overstepping its boundaries.
So it looks like we’re not alone when it comes to disliking Bill 62.
It would be nice if municipal politicians, and even public transit companies, spoke out against the bill with harsher criticisms, maybe mentioning something like an infringement on personal liberties rather than “confusion” about the bill itself, but we’ll take a little criticism over nothing.