The Court Challenges Program was at the heart of the latest scuffle between Ottawa and Québec. The program provides financial support to Canadians seeking to assert their constitutional language and human rights before the courts.
In June 2019, Simon Jolin-Barette, Quebec’s Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness, introduced Bill 21, which forbids public employees, including teachers, police officers, and prosecutors, from wearing religious symbols such as hijabs, kippahs, or turbans.
June 17, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission
Following the passage of Quebec’s Bill 21, entitled “An Act respecting the laicity of the State,” Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issues the following statement:
The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government has introduced Bill 21, a law that would supposedly entrench religious neutrality in the province. It would do so by prohibiting providers of government services in positions of authority such as judges, police and teachers from wearing religious symbols, including hijabs (headscarves for female Muslims), turbans (for male Sikhs), kippas (skullcaps for male Jews) and visible Christian crosses.
The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government has introduced what’s known as “an Act respecting the laïcité of the State.” This is the latest attempt by a Québec government to enact secularism legislation. The bill will prohibit civil servants in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols at work.