A move for closure on the debate and a marathon weekend session at the Quebec National Assembly saw the contentious Bill 21 finally pass, 73 to 35. The legislation prohibits public-school teachers, government lawyers, judges and police officers from wearing religious symbols to work, and mandates that citizens uncover their faces while receiving certain public services. And, for the next five years, it can’t be struck down by the courts due to the pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause.

Premier François Legault says Quebecers are on his side, but the bill is already facing challenges. On Monday, Montrealers took to the streets in protest, while earlier that same day the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association filed a motion for an injunction in Quebec Superior Court.

Today on the podcast, we’re joined by Eric Mendelsohn, Robert Leckey, Jack Jedwab and Bochra Manaï, who unpack and critique some of the key dimensions of the bill – including the identity debate, the disproportionate effect on Muslim women, and the legal grounds on which it can – or cannot – be challenged.

Download for free. New episodes every second Wednesday. Tweet your questions and comments to @IRPP, @jbugiel or @JRicardoBM.

Photo: People attend a demonstration to protest against the Quebec government’s Bill 21 in Montreal, Monday, June 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes