Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:34 am on 20th June 2019.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health) 10:34 am, 20th June 2019

On Sunday 16 June, the Quebec Government passed Bill 21, which prevents judges, police officers, teachers and other public servants from wearing religious symbols such as the kippah, the turban and the hijab while at work. The Bill clearly contravenes article 18 of the international covenant on civil and political rights, which says that the right to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals, or the rights and freedoms of others. To say that a teacher who wears a cross or a hijab is somehow a threat to public safety and health is an assertion that is both offensive and groundless. It is important that the UK raises this issue with our Canadian friends. Will the Leader of the House agree to a statement on the matter or, better still, refer it to a Minister from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and request that the FCO contacts the Quebec Government immediately?