Despite decades of bickering and hand-wringing, Canada continues on. National tensions, in and of themselves, are not leading us to poor policy outcomes.
The proposed secular law (Bill 21) in the province of Québec appears to be directed primarily against Montreal and Québec City, and reflects a fear of strangers in Québec’s more homogeneous regions.
Respecting religious freedom not only protects the rights of individuals, it safeguards the integrity and accountability of democratic governments.
Many Canadians are puzzled by Québec's law banning some civil servants from wearing religious symbols. A Québec sociologist explains the law is rooted in the province's troubled history with religion.
While few would deny secularism and religious neutrality are legitimate goals, they don’t justify Bill 21's undue restriction of minority rights.
The language of the neutral and secular state in Bill 21, like its precursors, presumes an invisible Christian default for the rules around public expressions of religiosity.