Canada: Legault government trying to adopt secularism bill ahead of summer break - PressFrom - Canada

CanadaLegault government trying to adopt secularism bill ahead of summer break

00:20  13 june  2019
00:20  13 june  2019 Source:

Quebec government aims to define religious symbols in amendment to secularism bill

Quebec government aims to define religious symbols in amendment to secularism bill The Coalition Avenir Québec government has tabled an amendment to its proposed law restricting religious symbols by further defining what a religious symbol is.

What will Premier Legault sacrifice to see his immigration and secularism reforms passed before The CAQ government has made it clear it wants both bills passed by Friday, when the legislature is Given both bills are highly controversial, and sensing the government 's urgency to get them passed

Legault said he hopes both the bills will pass normally as he doesn’t like the idea of forcing them through We have to go and adopt the different bills because we need some change in Quebec, and that’s what we WATCH: Call for calm after Montreal Mayor threatened for opposing secularism bill .

Legault government trying to adopt secularism bill ahead of summer break© Provided by Canadian Press Enterprises Inc

MONTREAL — The Coalition Avenir Quebec government is running out of time and into a battle over what constitutes a religious symbol as it pushes to adopt the secularism bill promised in last fall's election campaign.

Premier Francois Legault and his cabinet have stated they want the bill banning many public sector workers from wearing religious symbols passed before the legislature's scheduled summer break this Friday.

But the premier Wednesday accused the Opposition Liberals of slowing down the legislative process to protest the bill, and a new amendment presented as a compromise seems only to be causing more delays.

Quebec government to invoke closure on controversial secularism, immigration bills

Quebec government to invoke closure on controversial secularism, immigration bills MONTREAL — The Quebec government will invoke closure in order to force through controversial bills on secularism and immigration that it says must be adopted before the summer break. That means the legislature will sit exceptionally over the weekend to debate the government's proposed secularism bill, known as Bill 21, and Bill 9 on immigration reform. By invoking closure, the Coalition Avenir Quebec government will curtail debate and use its

The Quebec government has tabled its long-awaited secularism bill , laying down proposed ground rules it says will ensure the religious neutrality of the state. Laicity, according to the bill , is based on four principles: the separation of state and religions, the religious neutrality of the state, the equality of

QUEBEC — The Legault government is not ruling out the use of closure or the possible extension of the legislative The two have been identified as priority bills by the government . “I am sure we can adopt the two bills by Friday of The legislature is scheduled to recess Friday for the summer break .

Quebec's Bill 21 would prohibit public servants in positions of authority — including teachers, police officers, Crown prosecutors and prison guards — from wearing religious symbols on the job. The original draft of the bill didn't define religious symbols, drawing criticism from the Liberals and others groups.

The government's amendment introduced Tuesday states symbols, clothing, jewelry, ornaments, accessories or headgear that are worn with a "religious conviction or belief" would be banned for those in positions of authority. Objects that can be "reasonably inferred as relating to a religious affiliation" would also be prohibited.

But Legault declined to enumerate what symbols would be covered. Asked whether a wedding ring would fit the definition, he dodged the question.

François Legault defends decision to quash debate over immigration, religious symbols bills

François Legault defends decision to quash debate over immigration, religious symbols bills Quebec's premier says there's a risk of upsetting "social cohesion" if the debate over religious symbols is allowed to linger. His government is invoking closure to pass controversial secularism and immigration laws.

The Quebec government argues the bill is reasonable and in line with the values of Quebecers, and last week Legault said it doesn’t violate religious freedom. Legault also noted that his government included a grandfather clause that would exempt current employees from the restrictions as long as

The previous Liberal government adopted a similar rule for receiving services, but it was suspended after civil liberties groups argued it violated the Three previous provincial governments have tried and failed to settle the secularism debate, but Legault is hoping the bill is passed by summer .

"Listen, we won't start to get into details," the premier said in Quebec City. Pushed by reporters to answer, he would only say: "We will have a precise definition in the bill. We will improve (the definition) if necessary."

Interim Liberal Leader Pierre Arcand told reporters earlier in the day he doubted Bill 21 would be ready for adoption by Friday. The legislation is being studied clause by clause, and Arcand said his party has a lot more questions to ask about how to define religious symbols.

"The government seems determined to adopt this law immediately — without having discussions — under the pretext that we've been discussing this issue for the last 10 years," Arcand told reporters.

Legault said the Liberals' many questions are nothing more than "obstruction." The premier called on the "sense of responsibility" of the Liberal leader.

Arcand, Legault said, "needs to take notice of what Quebecers said last October," referring to the election where the Coalition Avenir Quebec won a majority government and tossed the Liberals from power.

Premier refuses to back down on plan to scrap 18,000 immigration applications

Premier refuses to back down on plan to scrap 18,000 immigration applications Quebec Premier Francois Legault is holding firm on his plan to scrap thousands of pending immigration applications, meaning 18,000 people would have to restart the application process from scratch. Legault's statement came shortly before the Coalition Avenir Quebec government's immigration reform bill was expected to pass on Saturday, despite pleas from the opposition. "The old (selection) criteria do not meet the needs of the labour market," Legault said, speaking with reporters ahead of a rare weekend session of the National Assembly to fast-track Bill 9.

Meanwhile, opposition to the Quebec government 's secularism bill is increasing. A major teachers' federation filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the There is no evidence, he said, that a single teacher, police officer, judge or Crown prosecutor has been proselytizing or trying to impose their religion on

+ Quebec Premier Francois Legault took to Facebook to reaffirm his position on his government ’s controversial secularism bill Sunday afternoon. “I want to say, finally, it’s a debate that has been ongoing for 10 years,” Legault said in a video posted to his Facebook page.

"Quebecers said last October: 'We want police officers not to have the right to wear religious symbols.' The message is clear but Pierre Arcand and the Liberals have learned nothing."

What Legault describes as the opposition's intransigence leaves him with difficult choices.

He can extend the legislation session, wait until the fall to adopt Bill 21 or invoke closure and force an immediate vote on it.

But if Legault chooses to cut off debate and call a vote by the end of the week — which would certainly go his way as his party commands a majority — his government would be forcing through a highly contentious bill affecting religious minorities across the province.

The bill already invokes the Constitution's notwithstanding clause to prevent court challenges based on rights violations.

Another high-profile bill the government wanted passed by the end of this session is also being held up in committee.

Bill 9 creates a legal framework granting the government the authority to be more selective over who receives permanent residency in Quebec. The legislation also allows the government to cancel a backlog of roughly 18,000 applications for immigration to the province.

Legault's government wants to eliminate the backlog and have potential immigrants re-apply using a new system created to select migrants who are better suited to the needs of the labour market.

The Liberals want the government to process the backlogged applications but Legault is refusing. Arcand hinted Wednesday that should the government cede on that issue, "there is a way for this bill to leave committee."

Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Press

Groups launch challenge of Quebec's secularism bill one day after it becomes law.
MONTREAL — A national Muslim organization is joining civil liberties advocates to launch a court challenge of Quebec's secularism law less than 24 hours after the legislation was adopted. 

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