All judges acknowledged harm may be serious for teachers wearing hijab
MONTREAL (CP) — The Quebec Court of Appeal has rejected a request to suspend the central elements of the province’s secularism law.
In a 2-1 ruling, all three judges acknowledge the law, known as Bill 21, is causing harm that may be serious and irreparable to teachers who wear the hijab.
But the majority concludes Quebec’s use of the notwithstanding clause means the law should not be suspended.
Bill 21, adopted last June, prohibits some public sector workers, including teachers, police officers and prison guards, from wearing religious symbols.
A national Muslim organization, a civil liberties group and a university student who wears the hijab were seeking to have the law suspended while their full legal challenge is heard.
They presented evidence that people are already being denied employment because they wear religious symbols.