24 October 2017, Ottawa — The Public Service Alliance of Canada—National Capital Region (PSAC NCR) strongly objects to Quebec’s recently passed Bill 62, which bans provincial and municipal public service workers and members of the public receiving public services, from wearing face coverings.
Despite various contortions by supportive politicians aimed at justifying the law, in the final analysis, it constitutes a racist attack against Muslims and has no place in Canada. Indeed, it is so clearly aimed at violating the rights and freedoms of Canadian Muslim women, as protected by the Charter, that it must be revoked immediately.
While formally titled an “Act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality”, the law is anything but neutral. Instead, it extends state coercion and forces Muslim women who wish not to reveal a part of their body to do so.
“I am calling on Philippe Couillard and his Liberal government to come to its senses and revoke this racist and cowardly law,” said Greg McGillis, Regional Executive Vice-President for PSAC NCR. “Quebec and Canada are progressive places and there is no room for such a regressive law, so well aligned with the politics of Donald Trump, in this country.”
The union’s Racially Visible Action Committee will continue to monitor the impact of Bill 62 as it considers its next steps in helping the fight against the law. PSAC NCR represents about 44,000 workers in the Ottawa and Gatineau region, around 12,000 of whom reside in Quebec.