Civil Liberties Groups Successful in Bill 21 Leave Application

– For Immediate Release –

NCCM, CCLA & Hak granted leave to appeal Justice Yergeau’s decision

(Montreal – August 1, 2019) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), and Icrhrak Nourel Hak have been granted leave to appeal the Honourable Justice Yergeau’s decision in Hak c. Procureure générale du Québec, 2019 QCCS 2989. With this decision, the Quebec Court of Appeal has agreed to revisit the question of suspending the operation of the “Laicity” law.

The Act respecting the laicity of the State bans people who wear religious symbols from holding a variety of public sector jobs, including as teachers, police officers and prosecutors. The law most seriously curtails the freedoms of Muslim women who wear the hijab, Jews who wear the kippa, and Sikhs who wear turbans.

“We are very pleased with today’s decision,” says NCCM’s Deputy Director Nadia Hasan. “We know this is an important victory that gives hope to those who are affected by this law as their livelihoods remain at risk for no other reason than their faith. We promised Quebecers and Canadians that we would stand up for what is right, and we intend to follow through”.

“We are delighted with today’s decision by the Quebec Court of Appeal. We hope it leads to a swift end to the harmful impacts caused by this law, which have affected people’s jobs, financial security, and peace of mind,” says Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Equality Program Director at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

The appellants are represented by Catherine McKenzie and Olga Redko of the distinguished litigation firm IMK LLP of Montreal.

The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit organization that is a leading voice for civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is a national non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to protect the rights and freedoms of all people in Canada.