Front Burner

The long fight over a 'secular' Quebec

CBC Montreal journalist Jonathan Montpetit walks us through the persistent debate around secularism and reasonable accommodation in Quebec, from Hérouxville to the CAQ’s Bill 21.
People hold up signs during a demonstration in Montreal on April 7 in opposition to the Quebec government's Bill 21. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)
Listen to the full episode25:29

Yet another Quebec government is proposing a bill designed to affirm the province's religious neutrality. The Coalition Avenir Québec's Bill 21 seeks to ban public workers in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols.

Thousands of people have turned out in protest — but the idea is popular among the province's francophone majority.

CBC Montreal's Jonathan Montpetit explains the long, fraught history of legislating secularism and reasonable accommodation in Quebec. 

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