Progressive Canadian Party advice on Quebec Bill 62 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 October 2017 23:47
Progressive Canadian Party advice on Quebec Bill 62

For Immediate Release - October 30, 2017

Niagara Falls, On  - Progressive Canadian Leader and former Progressive Conservative MP Joe Hueglin, taking note of the controversy surrounding Bill 62 in the Quebec legislature, has stated the opinion that a Supreme Court ruling made in July, 2009 in the matter of identity theft may provide a roadmap to protection of individual religious freedoms and practices while protecting the security of the wider Canadian community.
Mr. Hueglin pointed to the majority opinion in the 2009 Supreme Court ruling, written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, which asserts that "The goal of setting up a system that minimizes the risk of identity theft associated with drivers' licences is a pressing and important public goal.... The universal photo requirement is connected to this goal and does not limit freedom [of] religion more than required to achieve it."
"The goal of setting up a system that minimizes the risk of identity theft" goes far beyond drivers licences that were the subject of the decision, Mr. Hueglin believes.
"Conflict between religious beliefs and laws for the public good is not new", the PC Party Leader said. "Indeed, Federal Firearms Licences Regulations present a similar case. An application under Firearms License Regulation that is made by an individual who, for religious reasons, cannot be photographed can be granted. However some would argue that this is unacceptable to-day and needs to be updated for the public good," Hueglin said.
Application of the concept of identity theft as a public risk to central concerns some have referenced with respect to contentious Quebec Bill 62 can provide a clarifying basis for discussion and decision-making. Bill 62, which was passed on October 18, is expected to face a Charter challenge based on freedom of religion. Applying the reasoning of the identify theft ruling may provide a precedent in law to instruct federal and provincial government officials seeking reasonable measures in some fields of government interaction where clear identification is necessary but not in others.
Hueglin said in conclusion, "In to-day's climate of uncertainty leading to public concern and even fear, persons whose face cannot be seen may be seen as threats. That concern needs to be respected as a matter of public safety. However we need also to respect the cultural and religious beliefs and practices of those whose only wish is to make a positive contribution to Canadian society ." 
For more information contact:
Joe Hueglin,
Leader Progressive Canadian Party
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Supreme Court upholds photo rules

Firearms Licences Regulations SOR/98-199 FIREARMS ACT
  • (2) An application that is made by an individual who, for religious reasons, cannot be photographed must be accompanied by
    • (a) a declaration, signed by the applicant, stating that the applicant cannot, for religious reasons, be photographed; and
    • (b) a declaration, signed by an individual who is of the same religion as the applicant and who is authorized under the laws of a province to solemnize marriages, stating that that religion prohibits the taking of photographs of its members and that the applicant is a member of that religion.
  • SOR/2004-274, s. 13.
If Quebec’s Bill 62 faces a Charter challenge based on freedom of religion, the province would need to satisfy a number of onerous legal tests.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 November 2017 11:16