Canada: COMMENTARY: Quebec’s Bill 21 makes a mockery of secularism - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaCOMMENTARY: Quebec’s Bill 21 makes a mockery of secularism

22:05  06 april  2019
22:05  06 april  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

Teachers, groups decry Quebec secularism bill

Teachers, groups decry Quebec secularism bill Teachers, groups decry Quebec secularism bill

+ It’ s hard enough to understand the notion that encountering a turban-wearing police officer would constitute some sort of an aggressive attempt at religious conversion, so it’ s impossible to understand the impulse that would lead someone to actually phone the police over such a thing.

What's in Quebec ' s secularism bill : Religious symbols, uncovered faces and a charter workaround. Some opponents of Bill 21 make outrageous accusations against secularists and against For more information about commentary , please read our FAQ. CBC Montreal is seeking out points of view on.

COMMENTARY: Quebec’s Bill 21 makes a mockery of secularism© Jean-Vincent Verville/Global News Premier François Legault refused to comment about what means the government would potentially use to enforce Quebec's proposed secularism law if it were to be adopted. Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

(Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.)

It’s hard enough to understand the notion that encountering a turban-wearing police officer would constitute some sort of an aggressive attempt at religious conversion, so it’s impossible to understand the impulse that would lead someone to actually phone the police over such a thing.

Hijab-wearing teacher vows to leave Quebec if secularism bill becomes law

Hijab-wearing teacher vows to leave Quebec if secularism bill becomes law Chahira Battou said she will sooner leave Quebec than remove her headscarf or work alongside someone with more rights than her.

Driving my kids to school today, I noticed teachers protesting Quebec ' s proposed Bill 21 , which would prohibit public sector employees "in positions of

Quebec ’ s Bill 21 is finally law. Premier François Legault’s government invoked premature closure to end fierce debate over the weekend, and it passed 73-35, the Parti Québécois in support, the Liberals and Québec solidaire opposed.

Quebec’s Public Security Minister floated the idea this week of encouraging citizens to call the police to report violations of the government’s proposed Bill 21. Other government officials, though, were quick to downplay the notion of police enforcing the province’s twisted version of secularism.

READ MORE: Quebec government refuses to say what penalties might apply to those who disobey proposed secularism law

Make no mistake; a secular society is indeed one worth striving for. Freedom of religion is a fundamental Canadian right, and that freedom flourishes when the state remains neutral on the question of faith. Furthermore, freedom of religion entails a freedom from religion, insofar as religious views (or irreligion or atheism) are not to be imposed by the state. Neutrality means the state does not take sides.

With Quebec's possible secularism law, Edmundston mayor hopes more people move to N.B.

With Quebec's possible secularism law, Edmundston mayor hopes more people move to N.B. Edmundston’s mayor hopes more people will move to New Brunswick after Quebec’s secular law proposal.

For a decade, Quebec has been debating the issues of state secularism and reasonable Like similar legislation introduced by previous Quebec governments in recent years to bolster state secularism , it has Critics say it is discriminatory, will make it more difficult for religious minorities to integrate into

READ MORE: Quebec premier says he made ‘compromises’ on secularism bill to be tabled Thursday While Premier François Legault has called for Bill 21 , which sets out to ensure the religious neutrality of the state, would prohibiting any public worker in a position of authority, including new public school

What the Quebec government is proposing through its Bill 21 is not secularism, it is not neutrality, and it flies in the face of pluralism and freedom of religion.

The legislation represents the latest attempt in Quebec to regulate (i.e. prohibit) the wearing of religious garb and symbols in the workplace. The “Act Respecting the Laicity of the State” would prohibit public servants “in positions of authority” — teachers, police officers, Crown prosecutors, and prison guards, for example — from wearing religious symbols.

The government and other defenders of the bill argue that this is an affirmation of the separation of church and state. They’ve tried to argue that “laicity” is a French term and concept that is not quite the same as secularism, despite the fact that it’s quite explicitly billed as state neutrality.

But don’t just take the word of a mere western Anglophone. In recent years, the Supreme Court of Canada has handed down two significant rulings on the question of secularism, both involving cases from Quebec.

Québec Solidaire seeks common ground on secularism bill

Québec Solidaire seeks common ground on secularism bill The party's members are meeting today in Quebec City to discuss the Legault government's secularism bill. Members' opinions vary considerably, but the party's co-spokesperson says the bill goes "much too far."

COMMENTARY : Quebec ’ s Bill 21 makes a mockery of secularism . Neutrality should mean the state does not take sides, and that's not what's happening with Quebec ' s secularism bill , Rob Breakenridge says.

COMMENTARY : Quebec ’ s Bill 21 makes a mockery of secularism . Québec Solidaire members positioned the party firmly against the Coalition Avenier Quebec ' s secularism bill on Saturday, voting to adopt an official stance opposing any restrictions on wearing religious symbols.

With regard to Quebec’s Loyola High School and its policy of teaching students about Catholicism from a Catholic perspective, as opposed to the approach in the provincial curriculum, the court ruled that the “a secular state respects religious differences, it does not seek to extinguish them.”

With regard to the Catholic prayer previously recited by Saguenay’s elected municipal politicians, the Supreme Court declared that “true neutrality requires that the state neither favour nor hinder any religion, and that it abstain from taking any position on this subject.”

So if a secular society has an obligation to “respect religious differences” and “neither favour nor hinder any religion” then Bill 21 represents an obstacle to that goal rather than an advancement toward it. The particular faith, or lack thereof, of those working in the public service in no way represents any sort of official state religion or the imposition of such. Rather, this represents an intolerance of religion and I say that as someone who is not religious at all.

Legault to address secularism bill tonight

Legault to address secularism bill tonight Legault to address secularism bill tonight

The Quebec government has tabled its long-awaited secularism bill , laying down proposed ground rules it says will ensure the religious neutrality of Bill 21 , entitled "An Act respecting the laicity of the State," is 16 pages long. Here are some key points and passages: The preamble to the bill explains

COMMENTARY : Quebec ’ s Bill 21 makes a mockery of secularism . Neutrality should mean the state does not take sides, and that's not what's happening with Quebec ' s secularism bill , Rob Breakenridge says.

Not only that, though, there’s an obvious gender double standard at play here. A devout Muslim woman who wears a hijab would fall under this law, but a devout Muslim man who grows and maintains a beard in a very specific manner would not. Both are public displays of religion, but only one would be impacted by the law.

For obvious reasons, Bill 21 would almost certainly be found to be unconstitutional, both in terms of its violation of Section 2 of the Charter (religious freedom) and Section 15 (equality). The Quebec government certainly seems aware of that, which would explain why the bill invokes the notwithstanding clause.

READ MORE: Canadian Bar Association calls on Quebec to drop notwithstanding clause from Bill 21

Ideally, the courts would be the safeguard for governments inclined to trample on rights. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be an option here. Hopefully, Quebecers will see this for what it is and force their government to do the right thing.

Rob Breakenridge is host of “Afternoons with Rob Breakenridge” on Global News Radio 770 Calgary and a commentator for Global News.

Montreal mayor, opposition leader unite to denounce Quebec's secularism bill.
MONTREAL — Elected officials at Montreal's city hall are speaking with one voice against Quebec's proposed secularism bill. Mayor Valerie Plante and opposition leader Lionel Perez presented a bipartisan declaration today saying Montreal practises open secularism and its bylaws are neutral, regardless of the religious convictions of those who make them. Plante told a news conference the history of Montreal has been marked by waves of immigration that continue to shape the city. She said the city is open and inclusive and has taken great pride in building this reputation.

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