Quebec's Secularism Law is a Gross Violation of Human Rights
Cardus encourages Hamilton City Council to publicly commit to religious freedom and religious pluralism
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2022
HAMILTON, ON – Local think tank Cardus is weighing in on Hamilton City Council’s debate on joining other Canadian municipalities in a legal challenge of Quebec’s Bill 21 – a law that prohibits certain Quebec public servants from wearing visible religious symbols. Brian Dijkema, Vice President of External Affairs at Cardus, has made a written submission to council on the issue.
“As we have stated elsewhere, a democratic State facilitates open expression of both religious and non-religious belief in the public square,” Dijkema wrote in the submission. “Cardus supports the City of Hamilton’s recognition of public religious expression as central to a robust exercise of religious freedom, and that this is the foundation of an authentically pluralist society.”
The Cardus submission notes that Quebec’s Bill 21 violates the constitutionally recognized human right to free religious expression of multiple faith communities. The law affects Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Christians, and others who may wear clothing or symbols of religious significance. Dijkema adds that the motion before Hamilton City Council sends an important signal.
“Whether a legal challenge of Bill 21 from cities outside Quebec will be effective is an open question,” Dijkema says. “Regardless, it’s important for councillors to make a public commitment to affirming religious pluralism and to promoting freedom of religion in Hamilton and across Canada.”
The Cardus submission to Hamilton City Council is freely available online.
Cardus – Director of Communications
Cardus is a non-partisan, faith-based think tank, and registered charity dedicated to promoting a flourishing society through independent research, robust public dialogue, and thought-provoking commentary.
Cardus is a non-partisan, not-for-profit public policy think tank focused on the following areas: education, family, work & economics, communities, end-of-life care, and religious freedom. It conducts independent and original research, produces several periodicals, and regularly stages events with Senior Fellows and interested constituents across Canada and the U.S.