A Jewish hospital in Canada says it plans to disregard a new bill banning religious symbols from public sites.
The Jewish General Hospital is set to defy its city’s new Charter of Secular Values, a motion proposed recently that is expected to pass. The proposed law would ban any conspicuous and overt religious symbols in the public sector, including items like kippot.
“This bill is flawed and contrary to Quebec’s spirit of inclusiveness and tolerance,” said the hospital’s executive director, Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg.
“For nearly 80 years, the JGH has prided itself on the fact that its staff, representing a wide diversity of faiths, with many employees wearing conspicuous items of clothing with religious symbols, has provided care of superior quality to Quebecers of all backgrounds.”
“Since the bill is inherently prejudicial, there is no point in taking advantage of any clause that would grant us temporary, short-term relief,” Rosenberg added.
“This offensive legislation would make it extremely difficult for the JGH to function as an exemplary member of Quebec’s public healthcare system.”
Some governments already have similar legislation on the books, though the laws typically refer to those working under government positions. Last summer, a German police officer was censured after donning a kippah while in uniform.