March 10, 2015 (3:30 pm)
Quebec Premier Couillard promises a plan of action and a law
The Quebec government will legislate on secularism by the summer to ban the wearing of the full Islamic veil for officials in contact with the population, as well as for citizens in public administration, an unprecedented measure in Canada.
The law on “state neutrality” should remind us of our “fundamental individual rights” that apply in this province, said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard during a recent interview with AFP.
“It will be proposed that both the person providing a public service and receiving it must have their faces exposed for communication, safety and identification purposes.”
The Liberal leader, elected with a large majority last April, notes that this will apply to both public service and municipal government.
This enforcement action will prevent the wearing of the full veil (niqab or burqa) by employees or users of the administration.
“It’s the least the government could do. The expectation of citizens was high to ensure that the state decides on its relations with the religious,” considers Jocelyn Maclure, a philosophy professor at Laval University in Quebec City.
“It’s surprising that this has not yet been done.”