NDP leader would back federal intervention in court challenge to Quebec’s Bill 21
Published December 14, 2021 at 1:14 pm
OTTAWA — Jagmeet Singh says he would support federal intervention in a court challenge to a Quebec law known as Bill 21, which bans teachers and some other public-sector workers from wearing religious symbols on the job.
The NDP leader says he has hardened his stance following the case of a Grade 3 teacher in Chelsea, Que., who was reassigned from teaching in a classroom because she wears a hijab.
Speaking at an Ottawa news conference, Singh says it’s unfair that a Muslim woman who wears a hijab is not allowed to teach in Quebec, but her brother, who does not wear any religious symbols, would be permitted to do the job.
The NDP leader, who is Sikh and wears a turban, says he has experienced discrimination himself.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said yesterday that he deeply disagrees with Bill 21 and his government has not ruled out intervening in a legal battle against the law “at some point in time.”
Tory Leader Erin O’Toole has said the issue is a matter for Quebec.
At a news conference today, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said in French: “We understand in Quebec, once again, that the federal parties are unanimously against Quebec on the issue of secularism.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2021.
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