Empty gestures

Last week, the Quebec government finally decided to avoid the hypocrisy argument that has plagued its attempts at banning religious symbols by taking down the crucifix that has hung in the legislature since the 1930s.
For years the cross was described as a “cultural” or “historical” artifact. An argument that fooled no one.
Last month, the provincial government passed its controversial “secularism” law, Bill 21, which bans public servants in a position of power – teachers, police officers and judges – from wearing religious symbols.
It’s a move that required the legislature to invoke the notwithstanding clause – effectively suspending the minority rights protected by the Charter Rights and Freedoms.


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