MONTREAL, QC — Earlier today, Quebec’s Superior Court decided to uphold Quebec’s controversial Bill 21: An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State.
In response, CIJA’s Quebec Vice President, Eta Yudin, issued the following:
“CIJA is deeply disappointed by today’s Quebec Superior Court decision to uphold provisions of Bill 21 that severely restrict religious freedom and the ability of Jewish Quebecers and other faith-based communities to freely pursue careers in the public sector.”
“While we support religious neutrality of the state, we have consistently expressed our opposition to Bill 21. We believe that secularism of the state is an institutional duty, not a personal one and should not rest on the outward appearance of individuals. We have also opposed the inclusion of teachers in the legislation and continue to hold that all teachers be exempted from Bill 21.”
“Furthermore, as we expressed during our presentation before the parliamentary commission on Bill 21, it is our view that the government failed to make the case that Quebec’s secularity faces a threat that justifies invocation of the notwithstanding clause. CIJA will continue to voice our community’s steadfast opposition to Bill 21.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada, including Montreal’s Federation CJA.