By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday September 11, 2013
Charter of Quebec values would ban religious symbols for public workers
Public employees would not be allowed to wear overt religious symbols at work under the proposed charter of Quebec values, released by the Parti Québécois today.
The minister in charge of the charter, Bernard Drainville, announced at the national assembly that, if adopted by the legislature, the wearing of kippas, turbans, burkas, hijabs and “large” crosses would be banned for civil servants while they are on the job.
The plan would apply to judges, police, prosecutors, public daycare workers, teachers, school employees, hospital workers and municipal personnel.
Drainville said some institutions and public organizations might be able to opt out of the ban for a five-year period.
However, he said, daycare workers, elementary school teachers and early-care providers would not be eligible for the opt-out.
The charter would also require that anyone who received or administers services from the state would have to uncover their face.
“People have to be identifiable, mainly for security purposes,” said Drainville.
The charter would include five proposals:
Amend the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
Establish a duty of neutrality and reserve for all state personnel.
Limit the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols.
Make it mandatory to have one’s face uncovered when providing or receiving a state service.
Establish an implementation policy for state organizations. (Source: CBC News)