‘We’re being informed that we are Second-class voters’: Sikh trainer says Quebec secularism legislation pressured transfer to B.C.

Amrit Kaur, trainer and vice-president of the Quebec bankruptcy of the Global Sikh Group of Canada, says she moved to B.C. on account of Quebec’s legislation banning spiritual symbols in sure public-sector jobs. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Amrit Kaur, who just lately graduated to grow to be a trainer, has moved around the nation from her Montreal-area house to B.C. so she will paintings whilst dressed in her turban, after the Quebec govt handed a legislation banning spiritual symbols for some public-sector staff.

“I’ve a brand new activity as a highschool trainer which I am very enthusiastic about,” mentioned Kaur, who just lately arrived in Surrey, B.C. “It is unlucky that I needed to depart my house province to pursue my profession.”

Kaur is a member of the Sikh religion and believes the legislation, previously referred to as Invoice 21, violates her human rights.

“Individuals who appear to be myself, we’re being informed that we are second-class voters.”

Kaur, additionally vice-president of the Global Sikh Group of Quebec, mentioned her turban represents equality and is a part of her id.

Kaur in her her new rental in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday. She begins a brand new instructing activity in September. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

“When you glance all internationally, you’re going to see historically males dressed in turbans, however within the Sikh religion we imagine women and men are the similar. So me dressed in a turban may be very empowering as a result of it is telling the sector that I am no other than a Sikh guy.”

Academics already at the activity at Quebec public faculties are exempt underneath a grandfather clause in the event that they keep in the similar place. Kaur had no longer begun instructing in Quebec.

She’ll get started at a Surrey highschool in September.

Felony wrangling

The brand new secularism legislation bans public faculty academics, cops, govt attorneys, judges and different authority figures from dressed in spiritual symbols akin to a hijab, turban or kippa at paintings.

It invokes the however clause, which protects the regulation from being contested at the grounds it violates the correct to non secular freedom underneath the Constitution of Rights and Freedoms.

The spiritual symbols legislation used to be a significant marketing campaign promise right through remaining yr’s provincial election in Quebec.

Quebec Premier François Legault has argued the legislation is wanted to verify the secularism of the state and forestall debates about accommodate cultural minorities.

The Nationwide Council of Canadian Muslims and the Canadian Civil Liberties Affiliation filed a prison problem hours after it used to be handed in June, and the case is nonetheless winding its manner during the court docket gadget.

Advocacy teams argue that through restricting get right of entry to to sure public establishments, Invoice 21 is prison regulation — one thing outdoor the province’s jurisdiction.

In July, a Quebec Awesome Courtroom rejected an emergency request to briefly droop portions of the brand new spiritual symbols legislation, which induced the 2 advocacy teams to record an utility at Quebec’s Courtroom of Enchantment.

Looking forward to a last solution may take time.

B.C. Training Minister Rob Fleming says inclusivity is necessary in B.C. faculties, and hopes academics from Quebec will believe making use of for jobs. (CBC Information)

B.C. welcomes Quebec academics 

Because the court docket combat continues, B.C. Minister of Training Rob Fleming is encouraging academics from Quebec to use for jobs in his province, which he mentioned is experiencing a “resurgence” in French-language training.

Fleming mentioned that remaining yr, B.C. approved just about 900 out-of-province academics.

“We do not police what sort of religion or observances people have. We pass judgement on them on the type of competencies and the activity that they do for the general public.”


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