Court Challenge to Quebec Bill 21 on State Secularism
The Rassemblement pour la laïcité is satisfied
with the Supreme Court Decision
Montreal, Thursday 9th April 2020 — The Rassemblement pour la laïcité (RPL or Alliance for Secularism) expresses its satisfaction with the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, rendered on April 9th 2020, which refused to consider the possibility of temporarily suspending Quebec’s Act respecting the laicity of the State or Bill 21 on State secularism, while waiting for the Quebec Superior Court to decide on the validity of the underlying case in proceedings scheduled so far for the fall of 2020.
Thus, the members of RPL, a coalition of citizen groups and organizations which support secularism, are delighted that the Supreme Court did not see fit to question the merits of the decision rendered by the Quebec Superior Court in July of 2019, itself upheld by the Quebec Court of Appeal in December, despite the dissenting voice of Chief Justice Duval Hesler in the latter court.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, like those previously rendered by the Superior and Appeal Courts, is an important victory for the realization of the principle of secularism within the machinery of State, as well as for respecting the principle of freedom of conscience of citizens, both female and male, and in particular underage persons. Indeed, minors have the right to construct their identities and acquire their knowledge—thus their ability to reflect and analyze—without being subjected to direct or indirect religious influence from their teachers who are in positions of authority,” declared Ms. Michèle Sirois, spokesperson of the RPL.
“Nevertheless, RPL members are well aware that this victory is only transitory, as the real battle for a Quebec State which is secular, thus modern and progressive, will take place during future court sessions to be held over the course of the next few years, beginning with proceedings of Quebec Superior Court planned for next autumn,” concluded RPL spokesperson Mr. Claude Kamal Codsi.
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SOURCE : Spokespersons for the Rassemblement pour la laïcité:
- David Rand,
- Claude Kamal Codsi,
- Michèle Sirois,