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New Quebec Administration Wants to Ban Employees from Wearing Religious Symbols


Quebec, Canada's new administration wants to stop its employees from wearing religious symbols on their clothing while at work.

The Coalition Avenir Quebec platform also specifically points out that all judges, prosecutors, police officers, and teachers are included. 

"Religious signs will be prohibited for all persons in position of authority, including teachers," according to The College Fix website. 

Those employees who don't comply with the new rule would lose their jobs. 

 François Legault, Quebec's new premier, says it's merely so the government can remain neutral in certain situations. 

 "I think if we compare to what's happening in many countries, it's reasonable for neutrality reasons—we want to make sure that a policeman or a policewoman doesn't show a religious sign in case the man or woman in front of him is from another religion," Legault is quoted as saying on the Reason website's Hit & Run blog

However, critics have been very vocal about the requirement and argue that it's an unconstitutional violation of the freedom of religion.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has gone on record condemning the rule, according to the CBC

"The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is there to protect our rights and freedoms, obviously," Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa, adding that he believes the state should not "tell a woman what she can or cannot wear."

"It's not something that should be done lightly because to remove or avoid defending the fundamental rights of Canadians, I think it's something with which you have to pay careful attention,'' he said.

In a recent editorial, The Globe and Mail reported the religious symbols ban would include "wearing the Jewish kippah, the Muslim hijab or the Sikh turban on the job. The Christian cross is also to be banned, although it is hard not to suspect that it is a victim of collateral damage, given that it was never targeted before hijabs and turbans became an issue."

The editorial also points out "What the new Quebec government ought to do is allow public servants to wear whatever religious symbols they choose to, a right the Canadian Constitution clearly protects."

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