Responding to Bill 21

Coming up on September 10 the Canadian Interfaith Conversation will be hosting a panel event, focused on Bill 21, at the Toronto Baha'i Centre (288 Bloor St. W.) from 10:00-11:30am.

On June 16, the Quebec National Assembly passed Bill 21, legislation that formally bans public servants from wearing religious symbols in the course of their work. In practice, this means that teachers, police officers, judges and many others are prevented from wearing hijabs, turbans, kippas, and crucifixes. For some, these symbols are an affirmation of faith, while for others they are closely linked with religious practice and observance. The Canadian Human Rights Commission has expressed its deep concern that the Bill violates the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion. The Chief Commissioner, Marie-Claude Landry, said: “The law seeks to target people for their religious beliefs. It would create barriers, would limit people’s opportunities and their ability to fully participate in society.”

The panel discussion will stimulate a conversation about the social and political environment that produced Bill 21, and what measures can be pursued to mitigate its effects and ultimately protect the religious freedom of Quebec citizens. No registration fee is required to attend the gathering, but please email us at so that we’ll know of your participation in advance.