Press Release, February 24, 2014
Secular Ontario is announcing its support of the Quebec Government’s initiative to promote the Charter affirming the values of State secularism and religious neutrality and of equality between women and men and providing the framework for accommodation requests.
In a recent letter to M. Bernard Drainville, Minister Responsible for Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship, SO applauded the proposed legislation whose aim is to continue the secularization of Quebec. With regards to the religious proselytizing symbols, their removal from the civic space is extending fairness to all citizens.
Quinte Secular Humanist Association is announcing a similar note of support [see below] has been submitted to M. Drainville. QSHA position highlights the Legislation’s intent to help the development of a secular separation of “church and state” in Quebec and in Canada.
Quinte Secular Humanist Association sent the following letter to Bernard Drainville; the association received an acknowledgment of [its] letter from the “Political Attache” in the Quebec Provincial legislature on February 13.
Dear M. Drainville:
The Quinte Secular Humanists Association reaffirms its belief in the separation of Church and State and supports the intent of Bill 60. Our Association has agreed the following statement be publicly broadcast as a clear and succinct position on some of the components of your legislation.
Public bodies must, in the pursuit of their mission, remain neutral in religious matters and reflect the secular nature of the State. Accordingly, obligations are set out for personnel members of public bodies in the exercise of their functions, including a duty to remain neutral and exercise reserve in religious matters by, among other things, complying with the restriction on wearing religious objects that overtly indicate a religious affiliation.
As well, personnel members of a public body must exercise their functions with their face uncovered, and persons to whom they provide services must also have their face uncovered when receiving such services.
As Secular Humanists our position on citizen rights extends to a neutrality that allows “humans to respect humans” without governmental prejudice.
Our Association further agrees that a letter stating this support should be sent to Bernard Drainville, Quebec Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship with a copy to Humanist Canada and other Provincial Humanist bodies in Canada.
Thank you for launching this “key note conversation” in Quebec and Canada’s evolution to a modern and inclusive society.
Representing the Quinte Secular Humanist Association