Bill 21 trial enters final phase with 14 days of closing arguments
MONTREAL -- A legal battle over Quebec's controversial secularism law has entered its final phase.
Over the past several weeks, Justice Marc Andre Blanchard heard testimony from experts, civil servants and ordinary Quebecers on Bill 21, the law which prohibits public employees in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols such as hijabs and kippahs. Fourteen days have been scheduled for both sides to present their final arguments.
One argument put forward by opponents of the law is that it runs so contrary to the Canadian Constitution that it's as if the Quebec government amended the Constitution without following the proper procedures.
Some teachers who testified earlier in the trial said the law creates a second class of Quebec citizens who are restricted from parts of society due to what their religions proscribes.
Supporters testified that state has an obligation to maintain a secular role.