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Quebec considers veil ban

Quebec considers veil ban
Burqa-clad Afghan women walk against the wind during a sandstorm following rain in central Kabul, on May 16, 2010. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will attend an international conference on Afghanistan due to be held in the capital, Kabul, in July, Afghan officials said. UPI/Hossein Fatemi | License Photo

MONTREAL, May 19 (UPI) -- A human rights group says there is no need under Canadian law to establish guidelines for when Islamic women can cover their faces.

Coordinator Nicole Fillion of Quebec's League of Rights and Freedom told a hearing on proposed legislation that Canada's Supreme Court already ensures reasonable accommodations for religious freedom, The (Montreal) Gazette reported Wednesday.

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Fillion said passage of Bill 94 could deny public services such as health and education to women wearing face veils.

A spokesman for the Quebec Bar testified that while a section of the bill states that people offering or receiving public services must have their face uncovered, it is only necessary for reasons of "security, communication or identification."

Bill 94's sponsor, Justice Minister Kathleen Weil, says the purpose of the legislation is to establish the principle that people have their faces uncovered for "reasons of security."

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