Monday, August 26, 2013

Quebec Values Charter Proposal Will Ban Sikh, Muslim and Jewish Religious Head Coverings For Public Employees

In the Canadian province of Quebec, the ruling Party Quebecois plans to introduce a Charter of Quebec Values which, among other things, will ban  public employees from wearing religious head coverings or visible crucifixes in the workplace. The ban will cover Sikh turbans, Muslim niqabs and hijabs, and Jewish kippahs. According to a Canadian Press report yesterday, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois says the Charter will be a unifying force for the province. According to a Canadian Press article last week, there is particular concern that a ban would drive out Middle Eastern health care professionals who now work at Montreal hospitals, leading to longer hospital wait times. The proposed Charter would allow culturally specific hospitals — such as Montreal’s Jewish General — to seek an exemption.