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Quebec residents must uncover their faces

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Justice Minister Kathleen Weil introduced a bill in the National Assembly today that, if passed, would require anyone working for the government or receiving its services to do so with the face uncovered. Services include education, health and social services, and daycare.

The relevant section of the proposed law, Bill 94, reads:

"The practice whereby a personnel member of the Administration or an institution and a person to whom services are being provided by the Administration or the institution show their face during the delivery of services is a general practice.

"If an accommodation involves an adaptation of that practice and reasons of security, communication or identification warrant it, the accommodation must be denied."

Premier Jean Charest held a press conference today to announce the introduction of the bill, promised after the controversy over Immigration Ministry staff expelling a  Montreal-area woman from government subsidized French classes for wearing a niqab. Justice Minister Kathleen Weil, Immigration Minister Yolande James, and Minister for Culture, Communication and the Feminine Condition, Christine St-Pierre were also present. The intent of the bill is to address not only reasonable accommodation, but the principles of gender equality and the "religious neutrality" of the Quebec government.

Sources:

"Quebec bill would require uncovered faces" The Gazette

Bill 94: An Act to establish guidelines governing accommodation requests within the Administration and certain institutions

Comments

  • montreal mental health & Montreal health exami 4 years ago

    there is no way to make everyone happy in the situation, it is sad it comes to this

  • K K Thornton 4 years ago

    It's a tricky situation. The proposed bill is similar to the laws in effect in Turkey, which is a Muslim country with a secular constitution.

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  • Emylou Lewis 4 years ago

    I agree with Carol on this. Can't please everyone.

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  • Charlene Collins ~ Atlanta Family Health Examiner 4 years ago

    I think in Government one must show his or her face and not claim a religious right not to.. it's like if you get a drivers license.. one must show his/her face.. this has caused some controversy over women who wear face coverings and head coverings.

  • Amanda C. Strosahl 4 years ago

    At least it would be spelled out for people.

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  • Donna, National Education Examiner 4 years ago

    Interesting issue. I think that the government does have the right to reasonable requirements for its employees. The people they are serving have the right to see their faces, regardless of the reasons for "covering them."