Hearings begin in Quebec on bill outlining state religious neutrality


QUEBEC — Hearings have begun at Quebec”s legislature into a bill on religious neutrality.

The government is seeking to force people offering or receiving a public service to do so with their face uncovered.

While Bill 62 doesn”t name any religion directly, the legislation is widely recognized as targeting the Islamic burqa and niqab.

The bill is the governing Liberals” version of the Parti Quebecois” controversial secularism charter, which was introduced in 2013 but not implemented after the party lost the 2014 election.

Bill 62 also outlines conditions under which citizens can receive accommodations on religious grounds, a subject that has sparked heated debate in the province for the past decade.

A women”s rights group is the first to speak today and is to be followed by an association of anglophone school boards.