A small victory was won in court yesterday for organizations fighting to challenge Quebec's secularism law, popularly known as Bill 21 or the Religious Symbols Ban.
According to Global News, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) lawyers' argued in court that Bill 21 is causing "immediate harm to minority groups in Quebec."
The July 18 ruling by Superior Court Judge Michel Yergeau rejected a request by the groups to have Quebec’s secularism law suspended.
The groups have now been granted a leave to appeal this decision.
Quebec's secularism law which bans the wearing of religious symbols for some civil servants working in the provincial public sector has been met with great scrutiny in the last few months.
This latest ruling was met with relief. According to a statement by the NCCM: “We know this is an important victory that gives hope to those who are affected by this law as their livelihoods remain at risk for no other reason than their faith."
According to lawyer Catherine McKenzie, who is arguing on behalf of the NCCM and CCLA, "the law is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, causing harmful confusion and depriving people of employment or achieving their life goals."
In NCCM's official statement, they went on to say, "We promised Quebecers and Canadians that we would stand up for what is right, and we intend to follow through.”
The case will now head to Quebec's Court of Appeal.
So while it was just a small victory in a larger fight, it is good news for those that feel that this law represents a level of xenophobia not akin to Canada and its longstanding position in embracing new cultures.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) will continue along in their argument that the law causes "immediate harm to minority groups in Quebec."
We will, of course, update you once this case enters the Appeal process.