14 February 2017

Religious garb OK for cops, judges, says Bouchard-Taylor report's co-author

Police officers, judges and other authority figures in Quebec should be allowed to wear religious symbols while carrying out their official functions, says the co-author of the province's landmark study on reasonable accommodation.

In an open letter published today in the Montreal daily La Presse, Charles Taylor writes that he no longer backs one of the central recommendations of the commission that he presided over with sociologist Gérard Bouchard.

The Bouchard-Taylor report, released in 2008 as part of an effort to quell concerns about the erosion of Quebec identity, suggested that public servants who exercise the coercive authority of the state be barred from wearing religious garb.

In practice, that would mean police, judges and prison guards couldn't wear head coverings such as Muslim hijabs or Sikh turbans, or conspicuous symbols such as Christian crucifixes. [CBC News] Read more