Ottawa | Her withdrawal as a teacher from a school in Quebec wears a hijab has caused a shock wave in English Canada, reviving debate on Bill 21 among federal politicians.
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“I can no longer, with a good conscience, remain silent on this matter. This is utterly disgraceful, “said Ontario Conservative MP Kyle Seaback.
Fateh Mehri Anwari, a teacher of English literature graduating from the University of Ottawa, was expelled from third grade and assigned to other duties at an English primary school in Chelsea, near Gatino.
“No one in Canada should lose their job because of their dress or their religious beliefs,” the prime minister’s office said Thursday evening.
“This kind of discrimination does not reflect the Quebec community I want to live in,” said Mark Miller, Crown-Home Affairs Minister.
This is the first time that Act 21 on Quebec State secularism, which prohibits officials in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols, has led to the withdrawal of a teacher.
The parents learned of the news through a letter sent on December 3rd.
“It simply came to our notice then. It is a shame that this is happening in our school. How are we going to explain this to our children? This law is unjustifiable, “said Tim Irwin, a student’s parent who came to tie the green ribbon in support of Mr.Me Anwari with her two children.
MMe Anwari has been a substitute at the school since March and was granted the post on October 25th.
Shortly afterwards, on November 10, the English Montreal School Board failed to challenge Bill 21 in Court of Appeal.
Although it also opposes the law, the Western Quebec School Board, which runs Chelsea Elementary School, has ruled that it no longer has the option to apply the text adopted in 2019.
Towards a protest in Ottawa?
During the election campaign, Justin Trudeau stated that he “does not rule out the possibility that the federal government may interfere in the Bill 21 question at some point.” On Thursday, his office said it was pursuing the case “closely”.
For his part, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said “it is very important to challenge unfair regional laws in the provinces.”
“It’s up to the Quebecs to decide,” said Conservative leader Erin O’Toole.
But for his conservative colleague Kyle Seaback and liberal Iqra Khalid, the pose became incomplete. Both urged their party to take action.
“It is time for politicians to stand up for what is right. We must oppose Bill 21. On the court, in the House of Commons and on the streets, ”Mr. Seaback said on Twitter.
– Guillaume St-Pierre, Parliamentary Bureau and Rafael Pierro, with QMI Agency
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Bernard Drainville, New Education commentator