Bill 62

Right or wrong?

Montreal Times - - Front Page - By: Bon­nie Wurst / mtl­

Que­bec Jus­tice Min­is­ter Stephanie Val­lee held a news con­fer­ence to­day in Que­bec City to clar­ify how the gov­ern­ment's con­tro­ver­sial Bill 62 will be im­ple­mented - and no­body will be de­nied ac­cess on a bus or metro, or when us­ing other pub­lic ser­vices if their face is cov­ered.

The only cir­cum­stances in which peo­ple may be asked to re­move a face cov­er­ing on pub­lic tran­sit is when they are us­ing a card with photo ID, such as what many stu­dents and se­niors use - but once the driver or ticket booth em­ployee has checked the card and pic­ture, the per­son will then be al­lowed to cover their face.

But dur­ing the press con­fer­ence, when ques­tioned fur­ther about the driver or em­ployee hav­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity to ask for the re­moval of some­one's face cov­er­ing, (some­thing the union rep­re­sent­ing Mon­treal's bus and metro driv­ers did not want their mem­bers given the re­spon­si­bil­ity of) she in­sisted driv­ers al­ready have to keep or­der on a bus and the right to ask a pas­sen­ger to iden­tify them­selves and it would not be an ex­tra bur­den.

Peo­ple will also be al­lowed to be in a hospi­tal wait­ing room or in a li­brary with a face cov­er­ing - if there is no di­rect in­ter­ac­tion with a pub­lic em­ployee. But in a class­room, stu­dents still must have their faces un­cov­ered to 'fa­cil­i­tate learn­ing'.

The Min­is­ter apol­o­gized for the con­fu­sion sur­round­ing her pre­vi­ous an­nounce­ment of the bill and clar­i­fied the is­sue, also say­ing that 'the act that says ser­vices must be given and re­ceived with a face un­cov­ered is not in­tended to gov­ern pub­lic spa­ces such as parks and streets. And it is in no way a law about re­li­gious sym­bols'.

“The law adopted is not re­pres­sive, it does not in­clude sanc­tions. We don’t learn to live to­gether with re­pres­sive mea­sures… no­body will be re­fused use of pub­lic tran­sit, no­body will be re­fused emer­gency health care, no­body will be chased out of a pub­lic li­brary in Que­bec.”

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