FQM wel­comes re­li­gious neu­tral­ity clar­i­fi­ca­tions

Sherbrooke Record - - THE BORDER REPORT - Record Staff

The Que­bec Fed­er­a­tion of Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties (FQM) is wel­com­ing the prin­ci­ples of ap­pli­ca­tion of the law on re­li­gious neu­tral­ity of the state re­leased Tues­day by the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice, Stéphanie Val­lée. “These clar­i­fi­ca­tions will give mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties the free­dom to ap­ply the law with all the nec­es­sary judg­ment to en­sure that the re­gions of Québec con­tinue to be both wel­com­ing and re­spect­ful of gen­der equal­ity,” the Fed­er­a­tion says in a com­mu­niqué.

"This law is still not per­fect,” says FQM Pres­i­dent Richard Le­houx, “but it is nev­er­the­less a clear sig­nal in fa­vor of equal­ity be­tween men and women. Ob­vi­ously, un­der the cir­cum­stances, the ap­pli­ca­tion of the law will re­quire del­i­cacy, flex­i­bil­ity and judg­ment. This is what mu­nic­i­pal em­ploy­ees are al­ready do­ing on all sorts of is­sues and cir­cum­stances. When we look at the law, we see that the gen­eral cri­te­ria for ac­com­mo­da­tion al­ready cor­re­spond to those iden­ti­fied by the courts. Sev­eral pub­lic bod­ies, start­ing with ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, al­ready ap­ply such cri­te­ria.

"For the Fed­er­a­tion, the mes­sage that must be sent to new­com­ers is one of tol­er­ance and open­ness, it be­ing un­der­stood, how­ever, that no cus­tom or prac­tice, even re­li­gious, should un­der­mine the prin­ci­ple of full equal­ity be­tween the sexes," he con­cludes.

Since its found­ing in 1944, the Que­bec Fed­er­a­tion of Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties has es­tab­lished it­self as the key con­tact for mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and re­gions of Que­bec. Con­stantly aim­ing to de­fend mu­nic­i­pal au­ton­omy, it priv­i­leges re­la­tion­ships on a hu­man scale and draws its in­spi­ra­tion from the spirit of con­sul­ta­tion and in­no­va­tion of its more than 1,000 mem­ber mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and MRCS.

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