12 July 2018

CBC: New guidelines not enough to fix Quebec's niqab ban, lawyer says

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-bill-62-face-covering-1.4659684

Quebec's new guidelines on religious accommodation have failed to ease concerns about whether Muslim women will be able to access public services — such as riding a bus — if they wear a niqab or burka.
The guidelines were released earlier this week, and are meant to become part of a law that requires Quebecers to leave their faces uncovered in order to give or receive public services.
They state that exemptions to the law can only be granted on religious grounds if the demand is serious, doesn't violate the rights of others and doesn't impose "undue hardships." ...

That could require a woman wearing a niqab to make numerous requests in order to take care of simple everyday tasks, everything from getting a driver's licence to taking public transit to borrowing a library book, said Catherine McKenzie, a lawyer at the Montreal firm IMK ...

She wants to know if accommodation requests will have to be decided within fixed timelines ...

And secondly, whether people will be able to access a public service pending a decision from the providing body.

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