‘Notwithstanding Our Rights’

The ‘Notwithstanding Clause’ of the 1982 Constitution guarantees an unequal application of our so-called ‘Rights’… 
“The Quebec Court of Appeal has rejected a challenge from Canadian civil rights groups to suspend parts of the province’s secularism law, known as ‘Bill 21’. The province’s highest court handed down its 2-1 ruling…on the application for a stay of the religious symbols ban until a full legal challenge could be heard in Quebec Superior Court.

“While the three judges acknowledge the law is causing harm that may be irreparable to teachers who wear the ‘hijab’, the majority agreed the province’s use of the {infamous} ‘Notwithstanding Clause’ means it should not be suspended. 

“‘Bill 21’ prohibits some employees in positions of authority — including teachers, police officers and judges — from wearing religious symbols in the workplace. It was adopted in the provincial legislature in June.

“Before the court, the ‘National Council of Canadian Muslims’ (NCCM), the ‘Canadian Civil Liberties Association’ (CCLA) and a university student who wears the ‘hijab’ argued the ban targets women and harms minority groups.

“Mustafa Farooq, the executive director of the NCCM, said in a statement on Thursday that the applicants are disappointed with the result but won’t stop fighting for the rights of Quebecers and Canadians…

“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. Justice Michel Yergeau ruled ‘Bill 21’ would remain in effect since the applicants did not demonstrate harm warranting a stay.

“However, the province’s Chief Justice, Nicole Duval Hesler, granted the applicants leave to appeal the decision. She was one of three judges 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 hearing the legal challenge to ‘Bill 21’.

“In the ruling, two judges maintained the decision of Yergeau, while Duval Hesler partially ruled in favour of the appeal.

“The religious neutrality law has been widely criticized, sparking protests in Montreal and several legal challenges since it was adopted earlier this year. The ‘English Montreal School Board’, the province’s largest English-language school board, filed a lawsuit in October. It argues ‘Bill 21’ is hindering its ability to hire qualified teachers.

“The ‘Fédération Autonome de l’Enseignement’ — a union representing 45,000 teachers in Quebec — launched its own lawsuit in November.

“The provincial government, meanwhile, has staunchly defended the secularism law. Premier François Legault maintains it has a support of a majority of Quebecers.

“Both the province and the law’s opponents have said they are willing to take ‘Bill 21’ to the Supreme Court if necessary.”

–‘Quebec’s top court refuses to suspend province’s secularism law’,
KALINA LAFRAMBOISE, GLOBAL NEWS (files from the Canadian Press), December 12, 2019

COMMENT: “The government has no right to tell someone they can’t wear their faith. whether or not you agree wit the faith or not. It is a human rights violation.”
“Time to define ‘religious symbol’. Is it truly a “Religious” symbol? If we strike an investigative committee, watch how fast various religious codes get re-written.”
“All who got brainwashed by a religion are against this law and so are the politicians and members of the media who got brainwashed by political correctness, They are naive, pretentious and irresponsible fools who think defending and encouraging irrational beliefs is a wise thing to do.”
“A government that involves itself in your life in such a way that prevents a person of faith from wearing religious articles of clothing or jewelry. It’s a bit authoritarian, isn’t it? Even communist-like.”
“Get all the crosses, religious clothing and the rest of it out of civil places and affairs. For those of you who believe, the Bible and the God of Abraham said render unto Caesar, so out with religion in state affairs.”

“In 1975, Quebec passed Bill 101, requiring exterior business signs to be in French only. In December 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the law was an unjustified infringement of freedom expression under the Canadian and Quebec “charters of rights“.

“The court said Quebec had the authority to give the province a ‘French face’. It could require French on signs, and even that it be given greater prominence than other languages. But, it said Quebec couldn’t ban other languages.

“The Quebec government of Robert Bourassa then used the Constitution’s Notwithstanding Clause to adopt ‘Bill 178’, continuing the requirement for French-only signs.

“In April 1993, the United Nations Committee on ‘Human Rights’ declared the language law put Canada in violation of its treaty obligations under the ‘International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’.

“Two months later, Quebec adopted ‘Bill 86’, requiring the predominance of French on outside business signs. The Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear a challenge to the law submitted by lawyer Brent Tyler, representing the ‘Lion and the Walrus’, a shop in Knowlton, Que…”

–‘A History of Our Language Wars’,
Dave Rogers with files from Lee Greenberg, Ottawa Citizen, 2005.01.14

See also:
More Language Idiocy{Jan.12, 2020}:
‘Only in Canada’
A new report from the Official Languages Commissioner claims federal employees are writing too many emails in English…

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