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Message re: Quebec's Charter of Values

Nov. 29, 2013

A message from Stuart (Kip) Cobbett, Chair of the Board of Governors, and Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor

On November 7, the Quebec government moved forward with Bill 60, which retains the provision of prohibiting public sector employees from wearing conspicuous religious symbols, dropping the previously proposed exemption for universities and hospitals and substituting a time-limited transition to full implementation.

On November 20, McGill University Senate engaged in open discussion about Bill 60. Senate unanimously voted to reject certain provisions in the proposed legislation:

“Be it resolved that while the McGill Senate supports the secular spirit of Bill 60, it strongly objects to the restrictions on the right to wear religious symbols, as described in the draft legislation, which run contrary to the University’s mission and values.”

At its meeting of November 28th, McGill’s Board of Governors passed the same resolution. This resolution is in keeping with previous statements regarding the principles of the McGill community.

As is normal procedure for bills, the Committee on Institutions of the Quebec National Assembly will hold public hearings beginning January 14, 2014. We believe that McGill University should use these hearings to make our views known. To this end, the University will submit a brief to the Committee and request to appear at the hearings.

 

Sincerely,

Stuart (Kip) Cobbett, Chair, McGill’s Board of Governors

Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor