October 18, 2017

Statement Regarding Bill 62

The Canadian Federation of Students, on behalf of our 650,000 members across the country, is in strong opposition to the passing of Bill 62 by the Québec National Assembly. This bill, passed yesterday afternoon, bans the wearing of the niqab while receiving or working in public services.

Claiming to re-establish “religious neutrality in government spaces”, the law is less about public safety than it is about the gradual elimination of Islam from public spaces in Québec. Muslim women and individuals who choose to wear the niqab as a practice of their religious freedom will no longer be able to do so in the public service, including doctors, teachers and daycare workers. Additionally, these individuals would likely be unable to access public services like libraries, public transit and public education while wearing the niqab.

Islamophobia cannot be tolerated in Canada, whether it be in the form of white nationalists shutting down the St. Bernard-de-Lacolle border crossing, or the official passage of discriminatory legislation by the Québec National Assembly. The Canadian Federation of Students remains steadfast in this position and will continue to support those who organize against xenophobia and bigotry across this country. We call on our members to take action by supporting local Muslim organizations and expressing their displeasure about any similar forms of legislation in their regions to their elected representatives.

The Federation stands in solidarity with students residing in Québec who are opposed to this bill and are organizing against it. If you wish to connect with our office to discuss how we can assist your efforts, please contact us at campaigns@cfs-fcee.ca.