The Liberal government's Bill 62 on religious neutrality was put to a vote Wednesday morning in Quebec's National Assembly.
As CBC News reports, Bill 62 doesn't specifically mention either the niqab or burqa, but both forms of Islamic clothing are targeted with a law that prohibits people who provide or receive public services from wearing any face covering. IT is believed to be the first such law to have been passed in North America, reports The Guardian.
"We are in a free and democratic society". You speak to me, I should see your face, and you should see mine. Defending the ban, Philippe Couillard, the premier of Quebec province, told The Guardian, "We are just saying that for reasons linked to communication, identification and safety, public services should be given and received with an open face".
The federal government is not empowered to interfere with provincial laws. "It's as simple as that", he added.
Demonstrators covering their faces participate in a protest called "The traditional clown's walk against the burqa ban" in Vienna, Austria October 1, 2017. Under an amendment made in August, however, the ban was extended to municipal services such as trains and buses. "As long as the service is being rendered, the face should be uncovered", said Vallée.
Critics say the law could create a plethora of demands for exemptions and judicial chaos as it is challenged in court.
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Another witness said there was a traffic jam and that the area was packed with people and cars when it happened. Shortly after the first blast the second explosion was reported in Mogadishu's Wadajir disctict.
"This is a bill about le vivre ensemble [living together in harmony], it's a bill about guidelines and clearly establishes neutrality of the state", she said.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims said it was deeply concerned by the law's passage and was looking at its legal options.
Doctors, teachers and childcare workers were already barred from covering their faces while working with the public, as were the pupils and patients receiving those services.
"We were very careful for the whole process, to be respectful of the rights that are protected in the Charter".
"We don't know how this is going to be applied and how it will be enforced", said Gardee.