Quebec ban on face coverings expected to pass as law today

Oct 17 2017, 1:13 pm

Bill 62, also known as Quebec’s religious neutrality law, is expected to pass today.

According to the National Assembly of Quebec, Bill 62 aims to “foster adherence to State and religious neutrality, and in particular, to provide a framework for religious accommodation requests in certain bodies.”

The bill requires individuals in Quebec who give or receive any public service to uncover their faces. This applies specifically to Muslim women who wear the wear a burka or niqab. However, the bill itself does not specifically mention coverings worn by Muslim women.

Aside from face coverings, the bill sets guidelines on time off requests for religious holidays.

The law will apply to all provincial ministries, universities, school boards, transit authorities, public health care facilities, and daycare centres subsidized by the government, reports the CBC.

When the bill is passed, the face covering ban, when receiving public services, will go into effect immediately.

Other sections of the bill that deal with religious accommodation will have a more detailed guideline that will come out later next year.

In the past, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has raised concerns about the bill.

“When someone with a niqab arrives with their children, are we going to tell them, ‘You aren’t entering into the bus or we’re not giving you services?” Coderre stated in August.

Earlier this month, a survey from the Angus Reid Institute indicated that nearly six-in-ten Quebecers “strongly support” Bill 62.

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