The following letter was sent to a list of about 35 organizations in Canada outside Quebec, asking what they will do to support Bill 21.
A summary of responses, as of April 10th 2020, is now available.
Subject: One question for your organization
Dear members of the executive of your organization,
I am writing to ask you one simple question:
What has your organization done, and what will it do now and in the future, to defend Quebec’s secular legislation, Bill 21, against the many attacks from politicians and others in the media and the courts? My name is David Rand and I am asking this question as president of the organization Atheist Freethinkers (LPA-AFT), based in Montreal.
Bill 21 is rather modest legislation by international standards, timid even, but it breaks new ground in Canada by recognizing that the rights of users of public services, including students in public schools, should be protected, and to do so, civil servants in positions of authority, as well as teachers, should present themselves as religiously neutral while they are on the job. Their political neutrality is already enforced by previously existing legislation (Quebec Public Service Act, article 10).
The reaction from many media and politicians against this very reasonable legislation has been outrageously hostile, irrational and dishonest, frequently misrepresenting and exaggerating the Bill’s provisions while failing to show any respect for the rights of civil service users and students.
I therefore put to you the question which I ask of all organizations in Canada outside Quebec which identify as atheist, humanist, secularist or skeptic: Will your organization raise its voice to defend Quebec’s secular legislation, Bill 21, from the unscrupulous attacks directed against it?
You may answer by replying to
<admin at atheology dot ca>.
President, Libres penseurs athées — Atheist Freethinkers (LPA-AFT)
<admin at atheology dot ca>
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