Webinar Series 2020
Sunday January 12, 2020
3 pm EST
Bill 21: Understanding
the different sides of the tension
In March of 2019, the government of Quebec premier François Legault, the founding leader of the centre-right Coalition Action Démocratique (CAQ), passed “An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State”, also known as Bill 21.

Bill 21 prohibits certain public servants in positions of authority, including judges, police officers, government lawyers, principals and vice-principals, as well as elementary and high school teachers, from wearing religious symbols such as a hijab, crucifix, turban or kippah while on the job.

This contentious law has polarized public opinion. The detractors of Bill 21 claim that it fuels anti-religious sentiment, disproportionately affects Muslim women, and restricts the freedom of conscience and is, therefore, unconstitutional. The supporters of Bill 21 argue that it enforces the healthy separation of state and religion, prevents passive proselytism, and enhances gender equality by “freeing women from the constraints of oppressive religions”.  
Dr. Alice Chan will launch our first webinar in the four-part series titled "Bill 21: Understanding the different sides of the tension".
Dr. W. Y. Alice Chan is the executive director and co-founder of the Centre for Civic Religious Literacy. Her research, professional, and personal experiences have pushed her to see the importance of fostering understanding among religious, spiritual, and non-religious people, and the implications of a lack of understanding.

Dr. Chan grew up in Ontario, engages with partners across Canada, and now lives in Montreal. This wide lens and her research on religious bullying help her understand the tensions around Bill 21 and she will bring this to our webinar.
To learn more about her publications and presentations, visit https://alicechan.org. To learn more about the Centre, visit www.ccrl-clrc.ca.
Part 2 of our Bill 21 series will be on January 19, 2020 at 3 pm

Our presenter will be Jack Jedwab. He is the President of the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration and the Association for Canadian Studies.

Jack holds a Ph.D. in Canadian History from Concordia University. He has taught at the Université du Québec à Montréal and McGill University. His courses have covered the history of immigration in Quebec, ethnic minorities in Quebec, official language minorities in Canada, public policy and sports in Canada. He also regularly contributes to essays for books, journals and newspapers across the country, in addition to authoring various publications and government reports on issues of immigration, multiculturalism, human rights and official languages.