Quebec Court Rules 2-1 Against Bill 21 Challenge

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jerrym
Quebec Court Rules 2-1 Against Bill 21 Challenge

ETA: In a ruling handed down today the Quebec Court of Appeal rejected a challenge by a 2-1 vote  to Quebec's secularism law, called Bill 21. The Canadian Muslim Council called the ruling "devastating". The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says the fight is not over, indicating that it will appeal.

The Quebec Court of Appeal has rejected a challenge to the province’s secularism law known as Bill 21. The 2-1 ruling, which was handed down Thursday afternoon, stems from an application for a stay of the religious symbols ban until a full legal challenge could be heard.

The provincial government’s legislation prohibits some employees in positions of authority — including teachers, police officers and judges — from wearing religious symbols in the workplace.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and a university student who wears the hijab argue Bill 21 disproportionately affects women and harms minority groups. “While we are disappointed with the result, we never thought that fighting for the rights of Quebecers and Canadians would be easy,” said Mustafa Farooq, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, in a statement.

In November, the civil liberties groups appeared before Quebec’s highest court after their request for an immediate stay of some of the law’s provisions was rejected by a Superior Court judge in the summer.

However, the province’s chief justice, Nicole Duval Hesler, granted the applicants leave to appeal the decision. She was one of three justices hearing the case before the appeal court. 

The decision comes as Duval Hesler is the target of complaints to the Canadian Judicial Council over her handling of hearing the legal challenge to Bill 21. Her remarks have been called into question after she called herself a feminist and suggested the religious symbols ban was borne from “visual allergies” to seeing women donning a Muslim headscarf. ...

The Legault government, meanwhile, has staunchly defended the secularism law, saying it has the support of a majority of Quebecers.

Both the province and its opponents have said they are willing to take Bill 21 to the Supreme Court if necessary.

https://globalnews.ca/news/6284594/quebec-appeal-court-bill-21-decision/

 

 

jerrym

ETA: Even though CAQ Premier Legault claims Bill 21 is a law based on making secularism the centre of Quebec life, yesterday he asked California Governor Gavin Newsome  "You're a Catholic, no?" "Yep," Newsom said, to which Legault replied, "Me too. Of course, all French Canadians are." 

This raises questions about why he introduced the secularism law.

Legault also asked Newsome about his Irish heritage. When Newsome acknowledged his Irish heritage this, Legault added "with all the good and bad that comes with that."

What do Quebec Premier François Legault and California Gov. Gavin Newsom have in common?

Well, they are both Catholic, the premier pointed out Wednesday, in an exchange that grew a tad awkward as Legault tried to make small talk about religion and religious symbols.

"All French Canadians are," Legault told Newsom in Sacramento, Calif., as the pair posed for photos after shaking hands. 

Legault met Newsom as part of his four-day tour of Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Photographers and reporters recorded their exchange as Legault initiated a bit of small talk.

The premier first asked Newsom if he speaks French. After the governor said he did not, Legault asked, "You're a Catholic, no?"

"Yep," Newsom said, to which Legault replied, "Me too. Of course, all French Canadians are." 

According to the 2011 census, nearly 75 per cent of Quebec residents identify as Catholic. However, churches continue to close across the province. For example, more than 30 of 54 Catholic churches near Montreal were slated for closure in a 2018 report by the Diocese of St-Jérôme. 

Legault then asked about Newsom's Irish heritage, which the governor acknowledged, adding "with all the good and bad that comes with that."

"We've got a lot of history, us Irish Catholics," the governor said.  

"I understand," Legault said, as the two prepared to walk away from the cameras. "We can talk about religious signs."

To that, Newsom raised his hands and said with a laugh, "No, that's a whole — an issue for you guys: I don't want to get into that." 

Newsom appeared aware of the widespread controversy surrounding Quebec government's decision to bar public teachers, police officers and government lawyers, among other civil servants, from wearing any religious symbols — such as a Muslim hijab or Sikh turban — while at work. ...

Some hijab-wearing teachers have already moved to other provinces to find work in the classroom, and one province, Manitoba, launched an ad campaign to try to attract people who wear religious symbols to move there.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/catholic-quebec-california-françois-legault-gavin-newsom-1.5393170

voice of the damned

This raises questions about why he introduced the secularism law.

Does "raise questions" mean that it's odd he introduced the law(ie. if he's a Catholic, why does he want secularism?), or does it mean that his motivations might be impure(ie. he SAYS it's about secularism, but if he's a Catholic, he must just be doing it to crap on other faiths)?

Anyway, interesting exchange between the two leaders. I'm guessing Legault was playing to the wolf-pack back home, styling himself as the defender of Quebec's Catholic heritage on the global stage.

kropotkin1951

The thread title should read Quebec Court Rules Against Injunction Application. They have not ruled on any aspect of the actual law only whether or not it should be in effect while the court challenges against it are heard.

Unionist

jerrym wrote:

In a ruling handed down today the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled 2-1 against Quebec's secularism law, called Bill 21.

Your first sentence is false (inadvertent I'm sure), as is the thread title. Please consider correcting them both.

jerrym

Unionist wrote:

jerrym wrote:

In a ruling handed down today the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled 2-1 against Quebec's secularism law, called Bill 21.

Your first sentence is false (inadvertent I'm sure), as is the thread title. Please consider correcting them both.

I corrected the sentence. Thanks.

pietro_bcc

When meeting Newsom, Legault just discussed what he's most obsessed with when it comes to legislation. The very first thing he asked Newsom was whether or not he spoke french, he doesn't (which is a very bizarre thing to ask an American when completely unprompted.) Next he asked about Newsom's religion and wanted to discuss religious symbols. These were the two issues he was elected on and have been the main focus of Legault's party in the first year. He's completely obsessed about this stuff, when he sees someone the first two things he wants to know are language and religion and he can't see anything else.

 

lagatta4

Newsom would obviously be far more likely to speak Spanish. There a great many Hispanophones in California from Mexico and other countries, as well as many who were born in the US but have maintained knowledge of Spanish. California was an important component of former New Spain.

That was an odd question. I think it was GND who said that at least 25% of Canadian francophones (not just Québécois francophones) were atheists. Québec as a whole has one of the lowest rates of religious marriage in the world.

There are many reasons that Québec should be secular (and hey, Ontario should eliminate publicly-funded Catholic schools) but the Catholic background is not one of them, except for unfortunate memories.

 

voice of the damned

pietro_bcc wrote:

When meeting Newsom, Legault just discussed what he's most obsessed with when it comes to legislation. The very first thing he asked Newsom was whether or not he spoke french, he doesn't (which is a very bizarre thing to ask an American when completely unprompted.) Next he asked about Newsom's religion and wanted to discuss religious symbols. These were the two issues he was elected on and have been the main focus of Legault's party in the first year. He's completely obsessed about this stuff, when he sees someone the first two things he wants to know are language and religion and he can't see anything else.

 

Yeah, but I'm guessing he MIGHT not ask those kinds of questions to a Canadian premier, who would likely read it as an attempt to stoke inter-provincial rivalry, and respond accordingly. Whereas to Newsom, this would be very much a foreign issue, one that he can just shrug off with a chuckle, thus allowing Legault to posture for his base back home, minus any serious political repercussions.  

Pondering

Many Quebecers are non-practicing Catholics. I think it is similar to secular Jews. 

voice of the damned

And not that it really matters, but there seem to be two different versions of what exactly Legault said to Newsom. From the CBC piece quoted above...

The premier first asked Newsom if he speaks French. After the governor said he did not, Legault asked, "You're a Catholic, no?"

"Yep," Newsom said, to which Legault replied, "Me too. Of course, all French Canadians are." 

Whereas CTV quotes Legault as follows...

Yeah, me too. Of course, all French are Catholic – but you’re Irish?” he responds.

"All French Canadians" vs. "All French".

As well, CTV indicates that Legault was laughing when he suggested a discussion about religious signs. Make of that what you will.

https://tinyurl.com/tgm2yzu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

pietro_bcc wrote:

When meeting Newsom, Legault just discussed what he's most obsessed with when it comes to legislation. The very first thing he asked Newsom was whether or not he spoke french, he doesn't (which is a very bizarre thing to ask an American when completely unprompted.) Next he asked about Newsom's religion and wanted to discuss religious symbols. These were the two issues he was elected on and have been the main focus of Legault's party in the first year. He's completely obsessed about this stuff, when he sees someone the first two things he wants to know are language and religion and he can't see anything else.

 

Legault is basically trying to become Duplessis 2.0, isn't he?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

What I don't get is why the PLQ are staying center-right during all of this, when they are clearly not going to beat Legault among voters on that side of the spectrum.  Why don't they see the futility of trying for votes they aren't going to get?

lagatta4

The PLQ are also a right-wing, "pro-business" AKA anti-labour party. Frankly, does nobody remember what led to the Student Spring?

Misfit Misfit's picture

Was the PLQ under Rene Levesque more moderate then it is today? If so, when did things change and why? 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Misfit wrote:

Was the PLQ under Rene Levesque more moderate then it is today? If so, when did things change and why? 

In its first term, the PQ was the most left-wing government in Quebec history-well to the left of the "Quiet Revolution" policies of the PLQ government of the Sixties in which Rene Levesque was a cabinet minister at one point.

After the 1980 sovereignty-association referendum went down to a heavy defeat, Levesque blamed Quebec unions, particularly public employee unions IIRC, for the loss and, for that and other reasons, moved well to the right, as it has continued to move for most .   It reached its rightward most point in the Nineties when it was led by Lucien Bouchard, a former federal PC cabinet minister.  Since then it has occasionally tacked slightly further left, but not by very much.

voice of the damned

^ It's also the case, though, that issues related to immigration and religious-accomadation weren't as big a deal when Levesque was running the PQ, as they are now(if anyone doesn't believe me, try to find stats on how many Canadian newspaper articles mentioned Muslim headdress in 1979, versus in 2019). So, unless there's something about his political record I'm missing, we don't exactly know how he would have approached those issues.  

That said, I suppose you could argue that if the PQ had a political agenda as rich as the one in their first mandate, they wouldn't be reduced to scrounging for votes from the bitter old geezer crowd.

Pondering

Bill 21 has very little to do with secularism or religion. A new point of division was needed and Bill 21 is it. Language just wasn't doing it anymore. Quebecers did not get excited about demanding to process federal taxes in Quebec. The Bloc rose because of Bill 21. The point isn't independence it's power. CAQ and the Bloc will bleed it for all it's worth. Quebec is probably out of the running for the next election too. 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

"Quebec is out of the running for the next election, too"?

 

kropotkin1951

Ken Burch wrote:

"Quebec is out of the running for the next election, too"?

With only 75 seats it is impossible for it to get a majority government.

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:

"Quebec is out of the running for the next election, too"?

I don't see Bill 21 going away as an issue. The federal leaders will all be required to declare that they will stay out of it.  Blanchet is clever. He will use this parliament to prove himself. I don't think Quebecers will face the next election thinking they wished they had voted for someone else. 

Hence, Quebec is virtually out of play. 

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

"Quebec is out of the running for the next election, too"?

With only 75 seats it is impossible for it to get a majority government.

Yeah, but who needs a majority government?

BQ 75
Lib 66
Con 66
NDP 66
Green 65

 

jjuares

This is sometimes framed as a Quebec issue only but support for this law goes beyond Quebec.
https://montrealgazette.com/news/quebec/majority-of-canadians-disapprove...

Aristotleded24

Unionist wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

"Quebec is out of the running for the next election, too"?

With only 75 seats it is impossible for it to get a majority government.

Yeah, but who needs a majority government?

BQ 75
Lib 66
Con 66
NDP 66
Green 65

 

Yup

jatt_1947 jatt_1947's picture

Long hair itself is a symbol, so I wonder how they will deal with that.
Also, title should be rules against injunction they haven't ruled on the validity of the law yet..

lagatta4

My hair is usually between mid-length and semi-long. Guess it's a symbol of being a moderate ageing hippie, but that isn't really a religion.

kropotkin1951

lagatta4 wrote:

My hair is usually between mid-length and semi-long. Guess it's a symbol of being a moderate ageing hippie, but that isn't really a religion.

For some people hair is definitely an outward expression of their religious beliefs.

 

 

Unionist

Would they be required to grow hair in order to be cops, judges, or public school teachers in Québec? Interesting legal question.

lagatta4

True those. How about someone who has simply gone bald?  But I don't happen to share the faith of any of those gentlemen, or of Jagmeet. 

Yesterday in the deep cold, it would have been hard to determine whether someone wearing a woollen shawl on her head or covering her face was pious or simply frileuse...