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Montrealers protest Quebec's secularism law 3 years after law's passing


This week marks the third anniversary of Quebec's controversial Bill 21 -- which bans some public workers from wearing religious symbols -- passing into law.

On Saturday, dozens gathered outside the metro station in Montreal's Park Extension to denounce the bill.

"It doesn't matter how many years this law stays on the books. We're going to continue fighting against it because it's an unjust, xenophobic law that is a disgrace to our province as a whole," said event oganizaer Ehab Lotayef, who is the co-founder of the "Non à la loi 21" campaign.

Protestor Mandeep Kuar said she's dreamed of working in the Quebec government's public sector.

She's trilingual and raised in Quebec -- but she says that because of Bill 21, her future is limited.

"Despite having the same qualifications, the same education, I still can't work. My choices are limited to only federal [jobs]."

Kanwar Pal said his options were also restricted by the law.

When Bill 21 passed in 2019, he was just finishing his internship as an engineer in Quebec's Ministry of Transportation and later applied for a permanent position.

"They said, 'you have to remove your turban in order to work here,'" said Pal.

He chose to keep his turban on and took a job in the private sector.

"There are a lot of people like me that wear turbans or hijabs," he said. "Quebec, that's my home. It's where I grew up, I pay taxes. I don't want to be treated as a second class citizen." Top Stories

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