Legault, the defence of public services “face to face”

Legault à la défense des services publics «à visage découvert»

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The canadian Press
The elected members of the CAQ were strongly opposed to the adoption of the law 62 in 2017.

The prime minister, François Legault, promises to save the article 10 of the law “62 liberals” providing that a person offering or receiving a public service ” must have the face uncovered “.

This controversial provision has been suspended by the courts a few days after the entry into force of the Act to promote the observance of the religious neutrality of the State (law 62), and this, until the hearing on the merits. It has been postponed in the aftermath of the electoral victory of the Coalition avenir Québec, on the 1st of October last.

“The lawyers [of the State] asked that the suspension lasts until may. They mentioned to the judge that the government intends to introduce a bill, ” said the lawyer, Catherine McKenzie in a telephone interview with The Duty Monday. “It is not clear if the government will remove the law 62 “, she added.

To Me, McKenzie was commissioned by the national Council of muslims, the canadian civil liberties Association and the citizen’s Marie-Michelle Lacoste (Warda Naili) in order to suspend the application of the controversial article. It has managed to defer the application in December 2017 and June 2018.

The obligation of the “face” discovered “in the reception and the delivery of public services” appears, at first sight, to violate ” freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are guaranteed by the canadian Charter of rights and freedoms and the Charter of rights and freedoms of the individual, had pointed to the judge Marc-André Blanchard last June.

“Irreparable harm will be caused to muslim women, [ … ] if the suspension is not granted and there is an urgent need to act “, added the magistrate.

The elected members of the CAQ were strongly opposed to the adoption of the law 62 in 2017. “For religious reasons, it is not a question of having an accommodation in order to hide the face “, had argued the mp caquiste Nathalie Roy during the debate in the national Assembly.

“Consensus “

Like a ban on the wearing of religious symbols by employees of the State in a position of authority, the obligation of the “open face” is the subject of a “consensus in Quebec,” argued the prime minister, François Legault, in a press conference last Thursday. He is then committed to ” bring into force the draft law 62 of the liberals “.

The government caquiste could include a ban of the face covered during the receipt or delivery of a public service to the “true Charter of secularism” that he promised.

He could cut short any legal challenges, but not political, in having recourse to the notwithstanding clause of the canadian Charter of rights and freedoms, particularly as he already has plans to do so to shelter a possible ban on the wearing of religious symbols in the police, prosecutors, judges, prison guards and teachers.

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