Manitoba Wants To Recruit Quebecers Affected By The Religious Symbols Ban
"We don't have [a] clothing police."
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister isn't trying to hide the fact that he disagrees with Quebec's Bill 21. In fact, he wants to use this new bill to the advantage of his province.
Bill 21, which passed in mid-June, bans public servants in positions of authority such as judges, prison guards, teachers and police officers, from wearing religious symbols.
The bill, which is supported by a majority of Quebecers, has been criticised both inside and outside of the province for unfairly targetting visible minorities.
Pallister is once such vocal dissident. On Thursday, he stated that he is "not trying to hide the fact that I disagree with Bill 21, and I'm not going to try to hide the fact that we're going to use the threat of it to serve the needs of the people of Manitoba."
The Premier of Manitoba extended a hand to Quebecers worried about the bill's impact on their employment opportunities, stating that the province is looking to recruit bilingual civil servants.
Manitoba has a shortage of bilingual civil servants, Pallister says, and the province is actively trying to recruit more employees.
He goes on to say that wants "to give an opportunity to people who feel at all concerned about that particular bill."
Later this month, he will be sending recruitment letters to colleges, employment organisations and other companies, asking employees to move west.
The recruitment will target all sorts of industry, from the medical field to teachers.
On Thursday, Pallister went on to say, "We think that there may be people in Quebec right now who want to come to a province where we don't have clothing police, where their freedoms will be respected and their rights will be respected."
According to Le Devoir, the mayor of Edmundston, New Brunswick extended a similar offer to Quebecers. New Brunswick also has a shortage of qualified French teachers.
*Translations are my own.