Quebec tables religious symbols bill

The Canadian PressPublished Thursday, March 28, 2019 4:26AM EDTLast Updated Thursday, March 28, 2019 10:47AM EDT

QUEBEC — The Quebec government has tabled legislation to prohibit public sector employees in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols at work.

The law affects teachers, judges, police officers, prison guards, Crown prosecutors and other public servants in positions of authority.

But it contains a provision permitting current employees in those positions to continue wearing religious symbols.

Titled, « An act respecting the laicity of the state, » the bill tabled today aims to fulfil a Coalition Avenir Quebec election promise. Premier Francois Legault has said the proposal is supported by a majority of Quebecers.

But the plan is opposed by some civil rights groups. Even before the text was made public, one Montreal school board declared its intention to disobey a law that it said would violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In an about-face before the bill was tabled, the government said it would propose a motion calling for the withdrawal of the crucifix from the provincial legislature.

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