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Niqabs and Burqas must be removed for government services

New legislation in Quebec demands head gear and face coverings be removed for government services.
New legislation in Quebec demands head gear and face coverings be removed for government services.

In a move that no other provincial government has dared venture towards, Quebec tabled a bill Wednesday legislating that  women must remove all concealing headwear and uncover their faces when receiving Quebec government services.

The bill includes obtaining and delivering services. People 's face coverings will no longer be tolerated if and when they interfere with communication or visual identification. 

Premier Jean Charest made the announcement on  Wednesday. He said the legislation is a move to defend the principles of equality in the province, and to defend public institutions. 

"This is a symbol of affirmation and respect — first of all for ourselves, and also for those to whom we open our arms," said Charest. "This is not about making our home less welcoming, but about stressing the values that unite us. ..

"An accommodation cannot be granted unless it respects the principle of equality between men and women, and the religious neutrality of the state."

Niqabs and burqas have been a hot topic of debate in Quebec since a woman, Naema Ahmed, was kicked out of a CEGEP for refusing to remove her niqab in French class.

Last week, Quebec's human rights commission ruled that a woman wearing a niqab, or face-covering, must uncover her face to confirm her identity when applying for a Quebec medicare card.

 The bill, tabled by Justice Minister Kathleen Weil, explicitly points out that any provisions are subject to the guarantees of gender and religious equality outlined in the federal Charter of Rights and Freedoms.



  • Jackie 5 years ago

    Yeh, finally a govt that can stand up to the issues.... its an insult to have to put up with immigrants or anyone moving to a country to try to change the country to their ways...why did they leave their country....keep your religion, and keep your religous gear at home , wear it at HOME and keep it at HOME, quit forcing it on other people, you want to be an individual, go ahead without the gear, priest and nuns scare me enough, but at least you can see their faces, but you hiding everthing is scary to many people and children , its gotesque, you must be ashmaed to be human or something, get over it. this is Canada, you came here for a reason, quit pushing your religous views on us and making people feel uncomfortable, scared and threatened by your total covering, its gross...

  • Mike 5 years ago

    To Jackie

    You summarized it very well. It is the time for Canada to wake-up.

  • Barry 5 years ago

    So forcing women to remove their clothing which they wish to wear will promote gender equality. Interesting notion.

  • Amina 5 years ago

    Interesting that many niqabi women go through the entire university system in the Province of Quebec and have no problems. Many of them know 3 or more languages, including French, English and another language from the cultural background, yet their niqab was no impediment to learning. Sorry, but your argument does not hold water.

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  • Anonymvs 5 years ago

    Wahabi Islamists have no place in any functioning society. I am a Muslim and proud of it. Women should be allowed to make their own choices whether Muslim or not. It is clear that matters like identifying persons should require 'unveiling'. Bedouin traditions from the 7th century were only revived by newly formed Saudi extremism in the 1970s and unfortunately financed by the country's oil exports. Islam in its entirety promotes gender equality. The Wahabists on the other hand much rather make their own rules by interpreting the Quran as they see fit. Extremism in any sense is the key issue that should be dealt with by embracing moderation.

  • montreal mental health & Montreal health exami 5 years ago

    I am really torn on the issue, I see both sides but yes if the niqab is impeding basic functions including voting it has to be taken off.

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