News Release - Quebec’s face-covering law could stray into federal human rights jurisdiction

October 20, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is concerned by Quebec’s recent adoption of Bill 62, the Religious Neutrality Law, which prohibits public workers, as well as those receiving public services from covering their faces.

“It is extremely worrisome to me that any government would use the law to target and marginalize a group rather than protect those who already suffer at the hands of discrimination,” said Chief Commissioner Marie-Claude Landry. “Laws should be adopted to end discrimination – not promote it.”

The Canadian Human Rights Act protects all Canadians as it pertains to federal jurisdiction, which includes such services as transportation, banking and telecommunications. “While Bill 62 applies to Quebec’s public services, city buses crossing provincial borders make this a federal matter,” added Chief Commissioner Landry.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission strongly supports the rights of all individuals in Canada to a live a life free of discrimination. Chief Commissioner Landry further raised the fact that the Commission will be assessing its participation in any future legal action arising out of the passing of this law. The Commission will continue to work with stakeholders to give a voice to all groups who feel marginalized.

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QUOTES

“It is extremely worrisome to me that any government would use the law to target and marginalize a group rather than protect those who already suffer at the hands of discrimination.”
Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission.

“Laws should be adopted to end discrimination – not promote it.”
Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission

“While Bill 62 applies to Quebec’s public services, city buses crossing provincial borders make this a federal matter.”
Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission.

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