Quebec government asks Montreal school boards if information on staffers wearing religious symbols exists

ri434p4o4beh7clfqkqwiqajquSource: The Globe and Mail

BY RYAN REMIORZ/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Quebec government has asked several school boards in the Montreal region if they have a count of teachers who wear visible religious symbols – a request teachers’ unions and school boards have denounced as discrimination.

The Coalition Avenir Québec government of Premier François Legault is preparing a bill that would ban public servants in “positions of authority” such as judges, prison guards, police officers and teachers from wearing visible religious garments or jewellery.

Last Friday, officials from several school boards received a call from a deputy education minister asking them for the number of school staffers who wear such religious items. Representatives of the school boards said no such count exists. Several said they subsequently received legal advice that even asking such questions of employees would violate Quebec and Canadian laws protecting people from religious discrimination.

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