On April 26, 2019, the Quebec Writers’ Federation issued the following public statement on Bill 21, the Quebec government’s Projet de loi n°21 : Loi sur la laïcité de l’État.
‘We join the over 400 Quebec intellectuals who have signed “Laïcité: 250 universitaires contre le projet de loi 250” (https://www.ledevoir.com/opinion/idées/551547/laicite-250-universitaires-contre-le-projet-de-loi-21#) in affirming that one of the key characteristics of a democracy is equality before the law. Bill 21 flies in the face of this principle by targeting Quebecers based on their religious practice, singling out minorities and excluding them from full participation in the economic and social life of Quebec. Because its pernicious effects fall most heavily on women, the Bill also promotes a gender-discriminatory regime.
The QWF comprises a diversity of Quebecers from many linguistic and ethnic communities. As writers we are keenly aware of the importance of freedom of expression in all its forms. Many QWF members are also educators and many of our programs feature collaborations with educational institutions; we regularly send writers into schools. We are concerned that barring some members of religious communities from teaching and leading activities in schools across the province will result in the exclusion of qualified writers from QWF activities and the unreasonable limitation of our ability to fulfill our mandate.
For all these reasons, the Quebec Writers’ Federation firmly opposes Bill 21.’
The board of directors and staff of the Quebec Writers’ Federation:
- Christopher DiRaddo, President
- Susi Lovell, Vice President
- Jason Camlot, Treasurer
- Alyson Grant, Secretary
- Julie Barlow, Director
- Lynn Bourque, Director
- Dan David, Director
- Jennifer DeLeskie, Director
- Kym Dominique-Ferguson, Director
- Bonnie Farmer, Director
- B. A. Markus, Director
- Domenica Martinello, Director
- Elise Moser, Director
- Robert Schwartzwald, Director
- Blossom Thom, Director
- Lori Schubert, Executive Director
- Rachel McCrum, Coordinator, Membership Services and Communications
QWF Office: 514-933-0878