Last night, the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) passed the controversial Bill 21 at 10:30 PM after months of debate. During the marathon National Assembly session, Legault imposed a gag rule to force Quebec MNAs to vote on both Bill 21 and an immigration bill.
The bill passed 73 votes for to 35 against — the expected outcome as the CAQ has a majority government. Bill 21 will prevent many government and public sector employees from wearing religious symbols.
Opposition parties in the National Assembly are concerned over some key aspects of the bill — chiefly an amendment which threatens "corrective measures" for people who don't comply with the new law.
Quebeckers from all walks of life have swiftly reacted to the news of Bill 21's implementation. Though less than 24 hours old, protests and even legal action against the bill are already underway.
Many have negatively reacted to the news, some saying the bill is bigoted.
The new law will only require government and public "persons of authority" to remove their religious symbols. Quebec workers who have already worn their symbols before the bill became law are exempt from it.
Groups such as the National Council of Canadian Muslims have partnered up with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, filing an injunction and asking the law be declared invalid.
Bill 21 is a contentious topic in Quebec and many are divided on the issue.
Expect the debate to continue in the coming months as both the Liberal and Québec Solidaire parties opposed the bill.
Many are worried about the potential of a "secularism police" that will look for people who are opposing the law. The CAQ categorically denies this.
Though many Quebeckers agree with Bill 21, opposition to it will continue to rage on.
To learn more about the secularism debate, please read this article from CBC News.
For more information on Quebec's new religious symbols law, check out MTLBlog's video below.