Trudeau won’t rule out federal intervention in challenge to Quebec secularism law
Published December 13, 2021 at 5:18 pm
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s still not ruling out federal intervention in a legal challenge to Quebec’s secularism law after an elementary school teacher was recently reassigned because she wears a Muslim head scarf.
Speaking to reporters in Ottawa this morning, Trudeau said he deeply disagrees with the law, which bans certain government employees from wearing religious symbols, noting that the possibility of someone losing their job because of their religion is no longer “theoretical.”
Quebec Premier François Legault responded by saying he doesn’t understand how the federal government could intervene to challenge a bill that is supported by the majority of Quebecers.
Legault says the bill does not target people because of their religion but only bars government employees deemed to be in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols while they are working.
Legault says it’s important for government employees to appear to be neutral, adding that a teacher would not be allowed to wear a shirt advocating their support for the Liberal party.
It was revealed last week that a Grade 3 teacher at Chelsea Elementary School, just north of Gatineau, Que., had been reassigned to duties outside the classroom because of her hijab.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 13, 2021.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
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