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Levels 2 (grades 8 and up)

Bill 62
Article page 3

Questions page 5

Crossword page 7

Map page 8

Quiz page 10

2017/2018: Issue 4

A monthly current events resource for Canadian classrooms

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Page 2 What in the world? • Le vel 2 • article issue 4

Quebec’s Bill 62 in the spotlight

On October 19, Quebec adopted Bill pass in 2013. It would have banned “The niqab is not a religious sign,” said
62. The province’s Liberal government all public employees from wearing political scientist Andre Lamoureux.
passed the religious neutrality law by “conspicuous” religious symbols at “It’s a political symbol of the
a vote of 66 to 51. work. enslavement and de-empowerment of
women that is supported by the most
The legislation bans people who give Others were critical of the bill because
repressive regimes on the planet.”
or receive government services from it mainly affects Muslim women who
wearing face coverings. That affects wear niqabs or burkas. That’s unfair, Religious ‘neutrality’?
anyone who works in – or makes they said. Why is just one group being However, that’s not how many Muslim
use of – public schools, universities, targeted? women feel about their decision to
hospitals, clinics, subsidized daycare cover their faces.
centres, municipalities, and public
The government’s view
transit. Quebec lawmakers explained that “People are trying to liberate us,
they introduced the bill to reflect what but they’re doing the opposite when
Opposition to the bill they say many people in the province they’re telling us what to do,” said
Quebec’s two main opposition parties, believe – that the state should not Montrealer Asma Ahmad, who moved
the Parti Québécois and the Coalition promote religion of any kind. As well, to Quebec 10 years ago from the
Avenir Québec, weren’t happy with they argued that since Islam doesn’t United Arab Emirates. “Nobody is
the bill. They said it doesn’t go far require men to wear special garments, forcing us to cover ourselves, but this
enough. They wanted to see legislation Bill 62 encourages equality between law is forcing us to uncover ourselves.”
similar to the Charter of Values, men and women.
Moreover, say the bill’s opponents,
which the previous Parti Québécois
if religious neutrality is the aim,
government had tried – but failed – to

burka: a long, loose garment covering the whole body from regime: a government that controls a country, especially in a
head to feet, worn in public by many Muslim women as a sign of strict or unfair way
modesty and a symbol of religious faith repressive: ruling or controlling people by the use of force
liberate: to give freedom or equal rights to a person or group or violence, or by laws that put unreasonable limits on their
neutrality: the state of not supporting any side or position in freedom
a controversy subsidized: partially paid for using government funds
niqab: a veil worn by some Muslim women in public, covering
all of the face apart from the eyes, as a sign of modesty and a
symbol of religious faith

Page 3 What in the world? • Le vel 2 • article issue 4

Quebec’s Bill 62 in the spotlight
why is the government still allowing only come into effect next July after According to a recent poll, 70 percent
Quebec citizens to wear other religious guidelines are drawn up. of people in the province believe
symbols, such as crucifi xes, turbans, women wearing niqabs should be
Court challenge
kippas, and kirpans? banned from visiting government
In the meantime, a coalition of offices. Only eight percent said women
Controversy and Muslim and civil liberty groups is wearing niqabs should be welcome.
confusion challenging the new law in Quebec
There was also confusion – and more Superior Court. On November 17, the Moving forward
controversy – around details of the group asked the court to temporarily For its part, the Quebec government
ban. suspend the section of the law that said it had no plans to back down. It
requires people to uncover their will defend the law in court.
At first, Quebec Justice Minister
faces when giving or receiving public
Stéphanie Vallée said people wearing “We are in a free and democratic
headscarves wouldn’t be allowed to society,” said Quebec Premier Philippe
board buses, borrow a library book, The coalition’s lawyer, Catherine Couillard. “You speak to me, I should
or get emergency care. By October 24, McKenzie, said the legislation violates see your face, and you should see
that had changed. the right to equality and freedom of mine. It’s as simple as that.” J
religion. She stressed that those rights
“Nobody will be refused use of
are guaranteed by both Canada’s
public transit, nobody will be refused
Charter of Rights and Freedoms and
emergency health care, nobody will
Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights
be chased out of a public library in
and Freedoms.
Quebec,” she promised.
Ms. McKenzie asked the judge to act
Later, Ms. Vallée clarified how the
quickly. She said the law is having an
law will be applied. For example,
immediate negative effect on Muslim
women wearing headscarves can walk
women who wear the veil every day.
into a public library, but can’t take
For instance, Fatima Ahmad, one of
out a book. They can sit in a hospital
the women challenging the bill, says
waiting room, but must reveal their
she has experienced “an increase in
faces when talking to staff. They
Islamophobic and aggressive remarks”
can bring their children to public
on the street since the new law passed.
daycare wearing a niqab or burka, but
must show their faces when picking Quebecers back the law
them up. Federal Justice Minister Jody
She also said that under certain Wilson-Raybould says she’s been
conditions, people will be permitted following the progress of Bill 62, and
to keep their features covered for does not believe that the government
religious reasons. The government is should be telling people what they can
creating a framework for how to treat and cannot wear. Most Quebecers,
requests to do so. However, that will however, seem to support the

Charter of Rights and Freedoms: a bill of rights kippa: a skullcap worn by orthodox male Jews at all times and
entrenched in the Constitution of Canada. The Charter by others for prayer
guarantees certain political rights to Canadian citizens and civil Kirpan: a sword or knife carried by Sikhs to fulfill a religious
rights of everyone in Canada from the policies and actions of all commandment
areas and levels of the government. Quebec Superior Court: the highest trial court in the
province of Quebec

Page 4 What in the world? • Le vel 2 • article issue 4

Quebec’s Bill 62 in the spotlight

Answer the following in complete sentences:

1. Which controversial law did Quebec’s Liberal government pass in mid-October?

2. Explain how this law will affect certain people in Quebec.

3. What details did the Quebec justice minister provide about how the law will be applied?

4. What reasons did the Liberal government give for passing this law?

5. List at least two reasons why some people are opposed to the new law.

6. What legal action did some opponents of the new law take in mid-November?

7. What is the main legal argument this coalition is advancing against Bill 62? Explain.

Page 5 What in the world? • Le vel 2 • article issue 4

Quebec’s Bill 62 in the spotlight
An inference is a conclusion drawn from evidence. A plausible inference is supported by evidence in the article and is
consistent with known facts outside of the article.
What inference(s) can you draw from the fact that Quebec’s previous Parti Québécois government was unable to pass
more far-reaching religious neutrality legislation, the Charter of Values, in 2013?


Research Quebec’s ‘Quiet Revolution’ online. Then, consider: How does this period in the province’s history relate to Bill
62 and how many people in the province feel about religion and government? Explain.


1. a) What is your understanding of Bill 62 and its purpose?
b) For what reasons might you be in favour of Bill 62? For what reasons might you be opposed? Overall, are you more in
favour of or more opposed to the bill?
2. Consider this quote from Warda Naili, one of the women who is challenging Bill 62 in the courts: “I was already bullied
before the law. The law sends a message to all intolerant people that they are right to think like this, to insult us and
harass us.”
a) Respond to this quote. What emotions and thoughts does it evoke? What connections can you make to the speaker’s
experience, and what questions do you have for her?
b) Do you agree or disagree with the speaker’s perspective? Why?

Note: The links below are listed at www.lesplan.com/en/links for easy access.
1. Watch a four-minute Bill 62 explainer from CBC’s The National at
2. Listen to a short editorial about Bill 62 from an associate editor of Chatelaine at
3. Read “Quebec’s face covering law heads for constitutional challenge” at
http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/montreal/quebec-niqab-bill-62-legal-challenge-face-covering-1.4390962 J

Page 6 What in the world? • Le vel 2 • article issue 4

1 2

5 6


11 12




5. lawyer who represents Bill 62 opponents 1. person who believes in Islam
7. veil worn by some Muslim women 2. Quebec justice minister
8. when the government helps pay for something 3. Parti _____ was the previous government in Quebec
10. Bill 62 bans some people from wearing 4. cap worn by orthodox male Jews
_____ coverings
6. Quebec premier
11. small ceremonial knife carried by Sikhs
7. Quebec says Bill 62 is a religious _____ law
13. party in power in Quebec
8. Bill 62 opponents challenged the bill in
14. the Charter of _____ and Freedoms is part of Quebec _____ Court
Canada's Constitution
9. opposition parties favour Charter of _____
12. long, loose garment that covers the whole body

Page 7 What in the world? • Le vel 2 • article issue 4

Map Assignment
Complete this map assignment to better understand the article Quebec’s Bill 62 in the Spotlight.

1. Obtain the required resources and read all the instructions before starting.
2. Colour your map after all labelling is completed.
3. Print in pencil only first, then go over the printing in black ink.
4. Work carefully and neatly.
Resources Required: pencil, black pen, pencil crayons, ruler, eraser and an atlas.
Part A Locate and label the following provinces in CAPITAL letters and shade each as indicated:
Quebec (green) New Brunswick (purple) Prince Edward Island (yellow)
Nova Scotia (brown) Ontario (orange) Newfoundland and Labrador (red)

Part B Locate and label the capital city of each province and underline each city name.

Part C Locate and label Nunavut in CAPITAL letters and shade it pink.

Part D Locate and label the United States in CAPITAL letters and shade it grey.

Part E Locate and label the capital of Canada and underline this city’s name.

Part F Locate and label the following cities in Quebec:

Montreal Gatineau
Sherbrooke Saguenay

Part G Locate and label the following:

Gaspe Peninsula Anticosti Island

Baffin Island Belcher Islands
Akimiski Island

Part H Locate and label the following and shade all ocean water dark blue:

James Bay Hudson Bay

Hudson Strait Ungava Bay
Labrador Sea Strait of Belle Isle
Gulf of St. Lawrence Atlantic Ocean

Part I Locate and label the following bodies of fresh water and shade them light blue:

Lake Huron Lake Erie

Lake Ontario Smallwood Reservoir

Part J Draw and label the following rivers and shade them light blue.

St. Lawrence River Churchill River

Part K Complete your map with a frame, title and compass bearing. J


Page 8 What in the world? • Le vel 2 • article issue 4

0 100 200 300 400 Kilometres
Write the letter that corresponds to the best answer on the line beside each question:
______ 1. Which party is in power in Quebec?
a) Liberal b) Parti Québécois
c) Republican d) Coalition Avenir Québec
e) New Democratic Party
______ 2. Bill 62 bans Quebecers who give or receive government services from:
a) praying in public b) entering public buildings
c) wearing face coverings d) exhibiting conspicuous religious symbols
e) wearing kippas or kirpans
______ 3. Opponents to Bill 62 reacted to the new law by:
a) organizing public protests b) asking the federal government to intervene
c) occupying the National Assembly d) starting a province-wide petition
e) filing a legal challenge
______ 4. True or False? Bill 62 was adopted unanimously by the Quebec National Assembly.
______ 5. True or False? The federal government is opposed to Bill 62.
6. Bill 62 should not be enacted. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give reasons to support your response.

Page 10 What in the world? • Le vel 2 • article issue 4

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