Sikh teacher moves from Quebec to B.C. after Bill 21 implemented
TORONTO – A Sikh teacher who previously worked in Quebec has moved to British Columbia to continue her career, after the implementation of Bill 21 meant that she could not teach while wearing her turban.
Quebec’s Bill 21, commonly known as the Secularism Bill, bans public employees like teachers and police officers from wearing religious symbols while on the job.
“Because of this bill I’ve had to leave my home,” Amrit Kaur said to CTV News Channel Thursday. “I’m treated as second-class just because I have a faith, and I like to express my faith through visual outward manifestations.”
Kaur said that it is her “human right” to practice her faith however she wants, but because of her faith she is viewed as “not Quebecois, not Canadian,” and moved to B.C. so that she would not be “persecuted.”
Bill 21 was passed the same day that Kaur graduated, making the day a bitter-sweet affair.
“I was celebrating in the morning with my family and my friends and when I got home and I was uploading photos to social media, I saw that the bill was passed,” she said. “That was the first time I thought seriously about if I have a place in Quebec.”
Kaur said that if the bill was repealed she would “definitely” go back to Quebec as it is her home and “a part of [her] identity.”
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has said he is the only candidate who would possibly challenge the bill in court should he be re-elected as leader.