In the News: Legault Advances Secularism Measures

François Legault would invoke notwithstanding clause to ban hijabs from civil service, Benjamin Shingler, CBC News, 2018-10-02.

Quebec’s premier-designate says he is prepared to invoke the notwithstanding clause to enforce a prohibition on any public employee from wearing a religious symbol such as a hijab or kippa in the workplace.

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“I think that the vast majority of Quebecers, they would like to have a framework where people in an authority position must not wear a religious sign,” Legault said.

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Legault said Tuesday he would offer those affected, including teachers, “jobs in offices for people who want to keep wearing a religious sign.” His pledges to ensure the religious neutrality is one of several significant changes Quebecers can expect under a CAQ government.

Almost immediately after being elected on October 1st, the new premier of Québec, François Legault, leader of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) is already acting decisively on secularism issues, promising to ban religious symbols worn by public servants in positions of authority, i.e. judges, prosecutors, police, prison guards and teachers. Furthermore, he is committed to invoking the notwithstanding clause if necessary to make sure that such legislation cannot be struck down by the courts. These secular measures are widely supported by Quebeckers.

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