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Liberal MPs join other elected officials to oppose Quebec’s secularism bill

People hold up signs during a demonstration in Montreal, Sunday, April 7, 2019, in opposition to the Quebec government's newly tabled Bill 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL — A coalition of federal, provincial and municipal politicians joined community leaders and citizens today in denouncing Quebec’s proposed secularism bill as discriminatory and unconstitutional.

A few hundred people attended the latest protest against Bill 21, which would prevent many state employees, including teachers and police officers, from wearing religious symbols on the job.

Anthony Housefather, who was one of at least five Liberal MPs to attend, said politicians have a responsibility to stand up against a bill that threatens fundamental rights and freedoms.

He also denounced Quebec Premier Francois Legault’s choice to invoke the notwithstanding clause to block potential legal challenges, saying the population should at least have a right to know if a bill is unconstitutional.

The attendees also included provincial legislature member David Birnbaum, who argued the Quebec government’s proposed bill is the opposite of true neutrality because it makes citizens unequal under the law.

Another protest against the bill is taking place in downtown Montreal on Sunday afternoon.

The Canadian Press

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