The Controversial Bill 62
by Anonymous3 on October 31, 2017 - 2:59pm
The news article “Toronto students reconsider Quebec universities after Bill 62” expresses how Bill 62 is forcing many students to re-evaluate getting an education in the province of Quebec. This new law prohibits people who wear face coverings from receiving any sort of public service, whether it be provincial or municipal. This new bill prompts debate for if it is targeting Muslim women. Many individuals say that the initiation of Bill 62 gives the impression that Muslims are not welcome in the province of Quebec anymore. This also makes many wonder if it would now be harder to get access to services that a student may need. A 17-year-old girl, Batool Suleman, was considering Montreal’s well-known McGill University in hopes to continue her education in chemical engineering. However, with the possibility of the establishment of this new law, she has reconsidered her options. She feels more welcome in her home town of Toronto than in Montreal; Suleman states she has already experienced non-welcoming feelings in Quebec from previous trips to the province. The passing of this new bill will only validate those feelings even more. This “religious neutrality” bill also jeopardizes the life of a student who wears face coverings that may not be as financially stable as others; whom may possibly need to take advantage of library and public transportation services. Stephanie Vallee, the Justice Minister had said that Bill 62 will force anyone that wears a face covering to remove it the entire time that they are on public transit. She than later reversed her statement and claimed that they will only need to remove their face covering if it is required for them to show I.D. and then they will be able to put their veil back on. This is because Bill 62 is here to intensify public security. However, was that statement said because they actually believe this will increase security or was it said after they received criticism for blatantly targeting those who practice the Muslim religion? Another student, 15-year-old Farah Mikati was hoping to attend McGill University to pursue law after finishing her schooling in Toronto has also changed her mind because of the controversial Bill 62. She does not want to be a part of a province that does not support people from her community.
I believe that if the government wanted to enhance public security they should not bring any religious practices in to the mix. Although they might not have wanted to attack the Muslim community it very well seems as though that’s what their plans were when passing this new law. Jeopardizing one’s education accessibility is unacceptable. As Mikati stated “just as every woman has the right to reveal herself, the woman next to her has the right to conceal herself”.