On Friday, a Quebec Superior Court Judge temporarily blocked Quebec’s Bill 62, the controversial provincial law regarding face-coverings.
The decision by Justice Babak Barin means that, for now, people in Quebec who wear the a face covering can continue to access services such as taking the bus or borrowing a library book without showing their faces.
The ruling comes two weeks after Marie-Michele Lacoste, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association argued for a temporary suspension of the law because women who wore face coverings were facing harassment and discrimination.
“We presented arguments in Quebec Superior Court seeking a court order to suspend Bill 62’s measures that prevent certain Muslim women from giving or receiving public services, such as daycare, medical care, and public transportation,” said NCCM in a release.
“Make no mistake, this law opens the door to increased Islamophobia, prejudice and discrimination. Bill 62 has larger consequences for the broader Muslim community both within Quebec and across Canada.”
“While this court ruling is a big victory, there is still a lot of work ahead to ensure Bill 62 is fully defeated,” added NCCM.
In his ruling, Justice Babak Barin said the fact the law recognizes the need for exemptions, even though the government has yet to establish criteria for exemptions, is “demonstrative of the violation of equality concerns.”
According to the ruling the stay will remain in place until the provincial government comes up with its guidelines for exemptions.
Meanwhile, NCCM is asking for public support to fund the legal challenge and has started a GoFundMe page to receive donations, Click here