POLITICS
06/28/2018 17:45 EDT | Updated 06/28/2018 17:57 EDT

Quebec's Face-Covering Law Suspended By Superior Court Judge

The law would force everyone to show their face before receiving or giving a public service.

Quebec woman Warda Naili poses for a photograph on a city bus in Montreal on October 21, 2017.
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Quebec woman Warda Naili poses for a photograph on a city bus in Montreal on October 21, 2017.

MONTREAL — A judge has once again ordered a stay on the provision of a controversial Quebec law prohibiting citizens from receiving or giving public services with their faces covered.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc-Andre Blanchard ruled today the legislation cannot fully enter into force until it passes judicial review, because of the irreparable harm it could cause to Muslim women.

Section 10 of Quebec's law on religious neutrality, passed in October 2017, forces everyone to show their face when receiving or giving a public service.

Earlier: Trudeau says what women wear is not "government business"

The National Council of Canadian Muslims and other groups have challenged the law, arguing it violates the right to freedom of religion and to equality.

A judge suspended section 10 in December 2017 until the government published clear guidelines under which someone could apply for a religious accommodation.

The Quebec government published the guidelines in May, which were to come into force on July 1.

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Judge Blanchard ruled today the guidelines are not clear enough, and confusion and uncertainty still exists regarding how the accommodation process will be applied.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims and other groups are asking for the court to declare the law unconstitutional.