Repeal Bill 21
Repeal Bill 21
Why this petition matters
In June 2019, Quebec passed Bill 21, a bill prohibiting citizens working in Quebec public service from wearing religious symbols.
Despite the law going against parts of the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, the law continues to be in action today. There are both pros and cons. Bill 21 offers freedom from religion, though many fail to understand that Bill 21 restricts more than it gives.
Restricting the ability to wear religious symbols stops them from practicing religion how they want to - which contradicts aspects of both the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act - both vital aspects of the foundation of Canada.
While it affects many religions, most stories revolve around Sikh and Muslim people, specifically women. The religious symbols banned, specifically, the hijab, kippah and the turban, are symbols one cannot hide (compared to a cross or Star of David necklace). They are religious mandates, and while they are a choice, these symbols represent modesty and devotion to the respective creators. They are not only used as an expression of faith, but as an act of worship and obedience as well, therefore the choice is far more difficult. These symbols are not something one can simply put on and off.
Many have also lost their jobs due to this bill. Choosing between religion or a job is a loss either way. Eliminating the freedom of religious symbols prevents diversity in public services. Children need to see people that look like them in different jobs to learn that it is okay to be you. Immigrants, refugees and their generations of children tend to come from and own great religious beliefs.
Those who choose their job over religion can make further discriminatory decisions. This can have critical impacts, especially in the education and political aspect as they each have considerable effects on people.
Oxford Dictionary defines discrimination as “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.”. Bill 21 is the epitome of discrimination, the key to systemic racism, violates a variety of aspects of the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms in unjustifiable manners and creates a society Canadians as a whole do not want to live in. Many, including myself, have experienced religious discrimination. The pain should not be legal anywhere.
While it is difficult to overturn the law, efforts can be made.
Bill 21 should be repealed. The power of democracy is in the hands of the people.