A new law in Quebec (formerly known as Bill 21) bans wearing religious symbols such as hijabs, turbans, kippas and crucifixes for many public service employees. Those affected include teachers, judges, police officers, certain lawyers as well as students, children and youth who aspire towards those careers. The law took effect in June, 2019 and disproportionately impacts people who may already be marginalized, including Muslim women who wear head scarves as part of their religious faith and identity, Sikhs who wear a turban, and Orthodox Jewish men who wear a kippa.

CCLA and the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) are fighting this law in court. We strongly oppose the religious symbols ban and plan to fight it by every means possible. Read on for updates and materials related to the fight.

Join the fight today and defend equality and freedom for all. 


Check out our video ‘Freedom, Choice, and the Niqab’ to understand more about freedom of expression and religion in Canada.




UPCOMING: November 26, 2019 – appeal hearing to determine whether Quebec’s religious symbols law, An Act respecting the laicity of the State (formerly known as Bill 21) should be suspended.

August 1, 2019 – CCLA, NCCM and Ichrak Nourel Hak ask Quebec Court of Appeal to review an earlier decision. The hearing was successful! The court grants permission to review lower court’s decision that denied our request to suspend the law.

July 22, 2019 – Filed our application for leave to appeal the denial of the suspension of the law

July 18, 2019  – Court decides to deny CCLA, NCCM and Hak’s request for suspension of the law

July 2, 2019 – Court Hearing at the Superior Court in Montreal

June 17, 2019 – CCLA, NCCM and Hak file constitutional challenge of the law and application to suspend its operation

June 16, 2019 – Bill 21 passes and becomes law



September 30, 2019 Amended Notice of Application

September 25, 2019 Factum to Quebec Court of Appeal Concerning Denial of Suspension of The Law

August 13, 2019 Reasons for Judgement in Quebec Court of Appeal Granting Leave 

July 22, 2019  Application to Appeal the Denial of the Suspension of The Law

July 18, 2019 Decision Denying Suspension of The Law

June 17, 2019 Constitutional Challenge and Application for Suspension of the Law

June 16, 2019 Bill 21 Passes and Becomes Law



Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, CCLA

Director, Equality Program

E: mendelsohnaviv@ccla.org

P: 647-780-9802