RT / A Quebec Supreme Court judge has suspended a key provision in the Canadian province’s controversial legislation. Known as the ‘burqa ban’, the law required people to show their faces when providing or receiving public services. Touted as defending secularism and religious neutrality in Quebec, Bill 62 was criticized by some groups for discriminating against some Muslim women because they are among the few people in the province who cover their faces. The legislation mentions the possibility of accommodations, but fails to go into detail on how a person may seek such an exception on religious grounds. This was cited by Justice Babak Barin as the reason why he decided on Friday to suspend the law’s key Article 10 until a time when the provincial government gives clear guidelines on the issue, the National Post reported .
Read more Quebec bans face veils in public sector, including on transport, in schools & hospitals The law in question was first suggested by Quebec Justice Minister Stephanie Vallée in 2015 and passed by the National Assembly with a vote of 66-51 last October. At the time, the Provincial Justice Ministry had to provide a list of specific cases explaining what a person can and cannot do under the law. For instance, walking into a public library with the face covered was ok, but asking a clerk for a book was not.
The law was challenged in court by a coalition of Muslims and civil rights advocates and a Quebec woman who wears a niqab, a dress covering her entire face except for the eyes. The woman, Warda Naili, explained to the judge how the law would affect her life. Catherine McKenzie, a lawyer who represented the challengers told Global News her clients were “very happy” with the outcome.
Critics of the law said it effectively barred a visible minority of Muslim women wearing face veils from receiving essential services like healthcare and also fostered anti-Muslim sentiment in the province. There were an estimated 243,000 Muslims living in Quebec in 2011, according to Statistics Canada. An estimated 50 women living in the province wear a niqab or a burqa, another kind of dress that covers the face.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard reacted to the ruling, saying there was nothing surprising in the judgment. “I’m not unsatisfied with the judgment because there’s no mention of a violation of the charters [of rights] or any major constitutional problem,” he told reporters as cited by CBC News. He added his government was confident that the law can withstand a constitutional challenge, if necessary.
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san fernando Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley prayed with members of the Muslim community and distributed zakat (charity) to the needy as he celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr at two masjids in San Fernando yesterday. He attended the Eid services on an invitation from Minister of Local Government Kazim Hosein, who is also referred to as a…
gasparillo The mother of a disabled child was shot dead inside her apartment in Gasparillo yesterday. Ornella Philips, 28, was shot once in the chest. Her body was discovered lying in the living room around 10 a.m. The country’s murder toll now stands at 243. Her eight-year-old daughter, Kayla, has cerebral palsy and depends…
ISTANBUL (AP): Turkish police stopped activists for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights from gathering in large numbers for an LGBT Pride event in Istanbul yesterday, but smaller groups made impromptu press statements, defying a ban imposed by the governor. Organisers of the 2017 Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride had vowed to march in central Taksim…
LONDON (AP): The list of high-rise apartment towers in Britain that have failed fire-safety tests grew to 60, officials said yesterday, revealing the mounting challenge the government faces in the aftermath of London’s Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. All of the buildings for which external cladding samples were so far submitted failed combustibility tests, Communities Secretary…
BAHAWALPUR (AP): Alerted by an announcement over a mosque’s loudspeaker that an overturned tanker truck had sprung a leak, scores of villagers raced to the scene with fuel containers yesterday to gather the oil. Then the wreck exploded, engulfing people in flames as they screamed in terror. At least 153 men, women and children were…
WASHINGTON (AP): Making a final push, United States President Donald Trump said he doesn’t think congressional Republicans are “that far off” on a health overhaul to replace “the dead carcass of Obamacare”. Expressing frustration, he complained about “the level of hostility” in government and wondered why both parties can’t work together on the Senate bill…
While reliving the horrors experienced by so many families after another spate of bizarre violence across the country last week, I couldn’t help but picture Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett’s rictus grin plastered on television screens while the elderly and even suckling babes were being gruesomely slaughtered inside their homes. While the rest of us were…
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