For Media Inquiries & Assistance Please Call: 1-800.735.4086

Petition launching next week to oppose Quebec’s secularism law Bill 21

“Bill 21 is systemic discrimination,” says Lina El Bakir, Quebec advocacy officer for the National Council of Canadian Muslims, on a new petition at the national assembly against the secularism law. Brittany Henriques reports.

By Brittany Henriques
Posted May 7, 2022, 12:59PM EDT.

Groups and advocates against Quebec’s Bill 21 are throwing their support behind a new petition at the National Assembly calling on the government to revisit sections of the secularism law.
They say Bill 21 discriminates and attacks the fundamental right of religious minorities and disproportionately impacts women.
“We’re just doing this approach because we want to remind people that the bill is still coming, that there is opposition, and that there’s someone else also that’s on their side that’s trying to make change,” said Mauro Peña, director of the Red Coalition Inc., an organization dedicated to ending systemic racism in Canada.
“We are not alone in contesting (Bill) 21 or any of its sections along with multiple groups. We’re just one of many.”
The law bans public servants including teachers and crown prosecutors from wearing religious symbols at work.
“Bill 21 has been in place since 2019 and it has come in the way of the careers and dreams of many Quebeckers who choose to wear the kippah or the turban or a hijab,” said Lina El Bakir, the Quebec advocacy officer for the National Council of Canadian Muslims. “And too often we get calls and emails from Quebecers directly targeted by Bill 21. They are unable to pursue their careers. They are unable to practise their basic rights. This is what Bill 21 does.
“It’s a second class of citizenship,” said El Bakir. “It says it’s OK for women to be disproportionately discriminated against. And the trivialization of such discriminatory actions is simply unacceptable. Here in Quebec. “Bill 21 is systemic discrimination, point blank.”
Advocates hope the petition will put additional pressure on Quebec to rethink the law.
“We don’t want this bill to be used as a discriminatory tool by the government,” said Peña. “We understand that we live in a secular society. However, we want this to not work against the society that we’re all trying to collectively live in and build. What I mean by that is we need new doctors, new teachers, new government employees all the time.”
The petition is expected to go live on the National Assembly website by early next week. It will run until June 10.
Five hundred signatures are required for it to be discussed in the National Assembly.
“As a society, we make decisions and we have rules set into place to protect minorities’ rights and in those minorities’ rights, we have freedom of religion, freedom of choice,” said El Bakir. “So how is it just to ask a person to have to choose between their religious identity, their religious freedom, different religion, their freedom of expression, and their dreams and aspirations?”



Family of Montreal man killed while unlawfully jailed wants systemic racism inquiryLa famille de l’homme demande une enquête sur le racisme systémiqueSystemic racism inquiry called for by family of man who died after being pepper-sprayed at Bordeaux prisonDétenu mort à la prison de Bordeaux: une coalition exige plus de transparence sur le milieu carcéralUN GROUPE ANTIRACISTE RÉCLAME UNE ENQUÊTE PUBLIQUE SUR LA MORT DU DÉTENU DE BORDEAUXRights group seeks public inquiry into death of man in Montreal jailLobby group seeks public inquiry in Montreal man's jail deathAnti-racism group calls for release of video in connection with Montreal jail deathCivil rights group calls for inquiry into death of illegally jailed 21-year-old black manUne coalition réclame la publication de la vidéo de l’interventionLobby group seeks public inquiry, release of video in Montreal man’s jail deathAnti-racism group claims Quebec told Longueuil police to ignore court order on racial profilingAllison Hanes: Montreal prison death demands urgent answersRed Coalition: Quebec ministry told Longueuil police force to defy court order on racial profilingQuebec told Longueuil police to disregard court order on racial profiling, says anti-racism groupCivil rights group accuses Quebec of covering up race-based police dataQue s’est-il passé à Bordeaux ?Public inquiry ordered into jail death of illegally detained Montreal manPublic inquest to be held into death of man in Montreal jailChief coroner orders public inquiry into death of 21-year-old illegally detained at Bordeaux jailCoroner orders public inquiry into Montreal man's jail deathIl y aura une enquête publique du coroner sur la mort de Nicous SpringRed Coalition calling for investigation into systemic racism in Quebec jailsChief Coroner orders public inquiry into death of Nicous SpringPolice union head tells Montreal's new chief: staffing shortages 1st, community policing 2ndPROFILAGE RACIAL: UNE PLAINTE OFFICIELLE DÉPOSÉE CONTRE LA VILLE DE LONGUEUILCoalition alleges contempt of court against LongueuilPROFILAGE RACIAL: «LA CAQ DOIT TENIR SES PROMESSES», ESTIME LA COALITION ROUGEGroups to kick off Black History Month with measures to fight racism
Civil rights group questions Montreal police conduct after officers wrongly detain Black man, misplace key to handcuffsPolice detention criticized as racial profilingMontreal cops should apologize to Black man suspected of stealing own car: groupBlack man handcuffed after car Montreal police thought was stolen ended up being hisUn groupe contre le racisme demande des excuses à la police de MontréalLongueuil, Que., given ultimatum on release of race-based traffic stop dataRacially-profiled man challenges Longueuil to present race-based police data, threatens suitRed Coalition takes legal action against city of Longueuil and police force‘Mistake No. 1 was putting him in handcuffs’| The Corner BoothInterpellations sans motif: un retour en arrière demandéRights groups call on Quebec not to appeal ruling on police checksProfilage racial : le gouvernement Legault prié de ne pas faire appelProfilage racial: Le gouvernement du Québec prié de ne pas faire appelCommunity groups urge Quebec to support end to random police stopsThe Red Coalition Mandates The Law Firm Grey Casgrain to Take Further Legal Action Against The City of LongueuilRed Coalition takes more legal action against City of Longueuil and its police forceCanada sees rise in homicides, Statistics CanadaRights groups optimistic about selection of Montreal police chief who opposes racial profilingFady Dagher promet un équilibre entre répression et préventionQuébec porte en appel l’interdiction des interceptions policières aléatoires sur la route


no categories


no tags