April 20, 2021

Montreal, April 20, 2021 – The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) is pleased with the Quebec Superior Court decision to strike down parts of Bill 21: An Act respecting the laicity of the State where English language school boards are concerned.

Bill 21 was adopted in June 2019 and prohibits public sector workers who are deemed to be in positions of authority, including teachers, police officers and judges, from wearing symbols such as hijabs, kippas or turbans at work. The government of Quebec used the notwithstanding clause to adopt Bill 21, however the notwithstanding clause cannot be applied in matters regarding section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“We are pleased that Justice Marc-André Blanchard ruled that certain provisions of the law are unconstitutional as they pertain to English minority school boards in Québec,” said QESBA President Dan Lamoureux.

“Once again, Section 23 was put into the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to protect and preserve all minority language educational institutions. Section 23 clearly gives minority communities the right to manage and control their institutions,” concluded the President.

QESBA is the voice of English public education in Québec and represents 100,000 students in 340 elementary, high schools, and adult and vocational centres across Québec.