QUEBEC PREMIER ON NEW LAW: ''I SHOULD SEE YOUR FACE, YOU SHOULD SEE MINE''
Oct 18, 2017
By Bob Komsic
Anyone giving or receiving public services in Quebec must now do so with their faces uncovered.
(Sylvain Charest / CBC)
Tabled in 2015, a year after the Liberals took office, the controversial religious neutrality legislation, known as Bill 62 passed in the National Assembly today by a vote of 66-51.
The Liberals with their majority voted in favour while all other parties voted against.
The two main opposition parties have argued it does not go far enough while civil rights advocates feel it’s discriminatory and could be subject to legal challenge.
Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is ”completely opposed” to the law and is confident it will be challenged.
The law, which would effectively force Muslim women who wear a niqab or burka to uncover their faces, is based on a principle Quebec premier Philippe Couillard says the vast majority of Canadians and not just Quebecers can agree on.
”We are in a free and democratic society. You speak to me, I should see your face and you should see mine. It’s as simple as that.”
The law provides for the possibility of religious accommodation if certain criteria are met, though it’s unclear how such requests will be evaluated.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims have issued a statement saying it’s ”deeply concerned” by the new law and that it ”boils down to ugly identity politics” ahead of the 2018 provincial election.