FQM welcomes religious neutrality clarifications
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.