Bill 21 came after 10 years of public debate in Québec about reasonable accommodations.
Bill 21 is moderate, compared to other bills in secular countries in Europe.
Bill 21 is mainly about public servants in positions of authority, including all the following:
“the President and Vice-Presidents of the National Assembly, administrative justices of the peace, special clerks, clerks, deputy clerks, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, clerks and deputy clerks respecting municipal courts, and bankruptcy registrars, members or commissioners who exercise their functions within the Comité de déontologie policière, the Commission d’accès à l’information, the Commission de la fonction publique, the Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec, the Commission des transports du Québec, the Commission municipale du Québec, the Commission québécoise des libérations conditionnelles, the Régie de l’énergie, the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux, the Régie des marchés agricoles et alimentaires du Québec, the Régie du bâtiment du Québec, the Régie du logement, the Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal, the Administrative Tribunal of Québec or the Administrative Labour Tribunal, as well as disciplinary council chairs who exercise their functions within the Bureau des présidents des conseils de discipline, commissioners appointed by the Government under the Act respecting public inquiry commissions, and lawyers or notaries acting for such a commission, arbitrators appointed by the Minister of Labour whose name appears on a list drawn up by that minister in accordance with the Labour Code, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, and persons who exercise the function of lawyer, notary or criminal and penal prosecuting attorney and who are under the authority of a government department, the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, the National Assembly, a person appointed or designated by the National Assembly to an office under its authority (or a body referred to in paragraph 3 of the bill), persons who exercise the function of lawyer and are employed by a prosecutor (Code of Penal Procedure), unless the prosecutor are persons acting in criminal or penal matters for such a prosecutor before the courts or with third persons, lawyers or notaries acting before the courts or with third persons in accordance with a legal services contract entered into with a minister, the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, the National Assembly, a person appointed or designated by the National Assembly to exercise a function under its authority (or a body referred to in paragraph 3 of the bill), or lawyers acting in criminal or penal matters before the courts or with third persons in accordance with a legal services contract entered into with a prosecutor, peace officers who exercise their functions mainly in Québec; and principals, vice principals and teachers of educational institutions under the jurisdiction of a school board established under the Education Act or of the Commission scolaire du Littoral established by the Act respecting the Commission scolaire du Littoral.”
Bill 21 includes a “grandfather” clause, which allows existing public servants to keep serving.
Bill 21 also has a section on the necessity to have one’s face uncovered whilst receiving public services for safety concerns.
Here is Mr. Legault explaining this bill (video taken from the Government of Québec website):
Bambi has posted extensively on this bill in the past. When she started thinking about it, she saw the logic behind having police officers and judges representing the state not showing any religious symbol whilst on duty. It took her more time to understand the inclusion of teachers. It surely did not take her much time to respect the will of the majority of the population of Québec (thank you Mr. Legault for the bill).
Why can’t Mr. Trudeau respect Québec? Is it too much to expect from him?
Bambi finds it sad that his government is funding and leading the legal challenge of this bill.
Wasn’t it enough to impose the Canadian Constitution on Québec in 1982 (by Mr. Trudeau—his dad)? Québec did not even sign it.
Why are we imposing the multicultural vision of secularism on Québec? Why can’t we accept its own approach to secularism? This would respect its history, culture… thus its spirit!
As for Mr. Legault, to be fully congruent, when will the government stop funding private religious schools in his province? There is a contradiction between public institutions and the reality of private, religious schools in Québec?
Now, concerning all the media in English-Canada and the propaganda machine of the French CBC (Radio-Canada) and English CBC about this topic, it is getting ridiculous.
What is extremely odd for Bambi is to hear young women in Québec featured in those articles telling us that the “hijab” is a symbol of freedom and empowerment. Wow!
Did those young women forget about their peers forced to wear the hijab in their birth countries? By whom? By Islamist forces?
Of course, when you are an adult in a free society, like ours, choosing to wear whatever you wish, including a hijab and even a burqa, it is one thing. However, when you are threatened or literally killed if you do not do so, it is another story.
If you are an adult, chances are you know what you are doing. You are free to wear what you want. However, if you are a child who has not even reached puberty, the hijab is not a symbol of empowerment, but rather of a potential sign of authoritarian parenting or even abuse.
Anyhow, the above thoughts do not apply to Bill 21.
Bill 21 is about the state’s secularism, period.
Below, you can watch a few women expressing their disagreement with this bill. The video is called: “Me and my hijab”. It comes from a 2019 Montreal Gazette article. Of course, these women are free to think what they want… Bambi is also free to still think that the video of Mr. Legault above, explaining bill 21, makes much more sense to her logic than their words, especially when they talk about “prejudice” against them in Québec because of their hijab.
Bambi has lived in Québec for 15 years. This society is one of the most welcoming in the world!
This society also knows how to stand up for its language, culture, and values (of secularism, in this case). For that, Bambi has the utmost respect.
Yes, there will always be some individuals who may feel excluded or think it is unfair. Sorry for them. Luckily, they can work in the private sector. At the end of the day, as needed, a society has all the right to chose to live as it wishes.
This must be respected by all citizens, that is including Mr. Trudeau himself.