Quebec CAQ Government "Religious Symbol Ban" Will Be Even Stricter Than Anyone Thought
The bill will likely be tabled this Thursday.
The CAQ government made it known last year that they had intentions to ban religious symbols worn by people in important public positions like teachers and police officers. For months there have been talks on where the legislation stands, and whether or not it would be passed.
Well, according to CBC News, the Coalition Avenir Québec government has decided to further extend the limitations on religious clothing.
Certain rules will likely be tabled later this week in the provincial legislature. Quebec public school staff and any public employee that carries a weapon will not be allowed to wear clothing items such as the hijab or kippa or any other religious symbols.
TL;DR The CAQ government has made further adjustments to their ban on religious symbols worn by public officials. These limitations extend further than initially expected.
The rules also extend to "bodyguards, prison guards, wildlife officers, judges," and even Crown prosecutors, according to the CBC.
It is also rumoured that the bill will contain a "grandfather clause," which would exempt hundreds of currently-serving public officials from the ban.
As of now, it is expected that the bill will be tabled by the end of this week, with the CAQ aiming to gain votes from Parti Québécois members of the National Assembly. Premier François Legault also hopes the bill will reflect a majority opinion.
In the current version of the bill, the regulations on religious symbols and clothing extend further than the findings in a report on "reasonable accomodation" for public officials, says the CBC.
That report had advised that public officials in high-profile, powerful positions be prevented from sporting garments that identified their faiths.
This report did not suggest that such a ban should extend to public school workers, the CBC continues.
This respectful gesture of support for the Muslim community would become impossible in Quebec if a ban on state employees holding positions of authority wearing religious symbols is adopted. I will always stand for religious freedom. Hope those who support such a ban reconsider https://t.co/JTIwqfPrps— Anthony Housefather (@AHousefather) March 25, 2019
Individuals at all levels of government in Canada are expressing their opposition to the bill, even going so far as to contrast Quebec and New Zealand in their approach to religious symbols.
Meanwhile, Christian religous symbols continue to adorn public space and buildings. Some public schools still have Christian crosses on their façades. There are so far no plans to remove these religious symbols.
Famously, the chamber of the Quebec National Assembly also has a crucifix hanging at its front. Some provincial politicians say they would only support the religious symbol ban if it also applied to such Christian religious signs.
The last proposed ban on religious symbols in Quebec was deemed unconstitutional. François Legault announced before last year's election that his government would be prepared to invoke the notwithstanding clause to enforce their own ban.
Stay tuned for more information this week as the bill is tabled by the CAQ government.