Interest groups snub Bill 62 hearings into Quebec secularism


QUEBEC — A third of the groups slated to present at Bill 62 hearings into religious neutrality this fall have cancelled. 

The bill aims to ban people from wearing face coverings when giving or receiving a public service. It also proposes guidelines for religious accommodations in the province.

All seven groups scheduled to present on Tuesday — including doctor federations, nurses’ union and MUHC — said they will not be making the trip to Quebec City after all. The hearings were supposed to run from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. They will instead adjourn at 5:15 p.m, after presentations from the Quebec English School Boards Association and feminist group Pour les droits des femmes du Québec.

“Some of them will submit (briefs), others decided not to come, probably because they don’t see the bill as something that will be against any individuals,” said Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée, adding the cancellations mean that groups don’t see any “red flags.” 

“I think we presented something that is quite balanced, and that can explain some of it,” she said.