CIJA disappointed with Quebec court’s decision to uphold Bill 21

THE Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) reacting to Quebec’s Superior Court’s decision to uphold Quebec’s controversial Bill 21: An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State, said on Tuesday: ““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 purse careers in the public sector.”

CIJA’s Quebec Vice President, Eta Yudin, said: “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 be 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 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.”

Additional Background

  • Full text of Bill 21 available here.
  • CIJA’s testimony delivered during consultations at the National Assembly available here.
  • Other CIJA statements on Bill 21 available here and here.