The CAQ government's divisive and controversial Bill 21, or “An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State,” was tabled this morning. The bill's principal purpose is to ban the use of religious symbols in the workplace for public employees.
If the bill is passed in its current form, which it is likely to do as the CAQ has a majority of seats, it will ban people in positions of authority from wearing signs of their religion. This includes judges, police officers, prosecutors, and teachers.
Speaking to reporters this morning, Justin Trudeau condemned the motion before Bill 21 had even been tabled.
TL;DR Justin Trudeau spoke to reporters this morning and condemned Bill 21, Quebec's controversial new bill that aims to ban religious symbols in the workplace for employees in positions of authority.
The tabled bill does not define the term "religious symbol," though the consensus appears to be something with religious significance that is worn (this would therefore exclude tattoos and symbols worn out of the eye's view).
The bill includes a "grandfather clause," which means that employees that were hired before May 28 may continue wearing their symbols.
As a compromise, the Assembly also voted to remove the cross that hangs in l'Assemblée Nationale.
Speaking to reporters this morning, Justin Trudeau condemned the bill stating “Canada, and indeed Quebec, is a place where we are a secular society. We respect deeply people’s rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion."
Trudeau went on to say, “it is unthinkable to me that in a free society, we would legitimize discrimination against citizens based on their religion.”
Of course, many took offense to Trudeau's words. This may cost Trudeau the votes of some people from Quebec in the upcoming election.
Si j’étais Trudeau et que j’espérais gagner au Québec en octobre, je me tiendrais tranquille. 🇨🇦— Étienne-A Beauregard (@EABeauregard) March 28, 2019
73% des Québécois appuient la laïcité et 60% des citoyens sont satisfaits du gouvernement #CAQ. Mauvais moment pour un affeontement. #polqc #polcan #AssNat https://t.co/wqlvYWqWsd
Bravo Quebec for leading the way for a secular society. Trudeau's weakness and capitulation on this issue has meant more visible religion in Canada, values which are incompatible with a 21st-century democracy. https://t.co/zJlxKJlHXc— Northbridge (@BurnerBernie123) March 28, 2019
Petite merde 💩 de prof d’art dramatique.— Dan (@twyttiboy) March 28, 2019
Mange d’la 💩— Ian St-Onge (@TiYoUn123) March 28, 2019
Many commenters asked the PM to, in one way or another, "eat shit."
Saleté Trudeau pic.twitter.com/OlvtZWxU1N— beaudin jean claude (@BeaudinJean) March 28, 2019
Ce n’est pas de ses affaires, il ne demeure pas au Québec!— Claude B. (@Clint009) March 28, 2019
Of course, many people in Quebec, including Montreal mayor Valérie Plante, have also voiced their objection to the religious symbol ban. In this instance, however, there are far more people comdemning Trudeau's comments on the ban than supporting them.
Many critics believe the bill, if passed, will not hold up in law for impeding religious freedoms.