Muslim women in Quebec who wear a burka or niqab could soon be required to uncover their faces to ride a city bus under a proposed provincial law.
The Couillard government's Bill 62 on religious neutrality could be put to a vote as early as Tuesday, two years after it was tabled.
The controversial legislation would effectively ban public workers — including doctors, nurses, teachers and daycare workers — as well as those receiving a service from the government, from wearing the niqab, burka or any other face covering.
Amendments introduced in August extended the proposed rules to services offered by municipalities, including public transit.
"As long as the service is being rendered, the face should be uncovered," Quebec Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée said Monday in an interview with Daybreak host Mike Finnerty.
"This is a bill about le vivre ensemble [living together in harmony], it's a bill about guidelines and clearly establishes neutrality of the state."
The legislation, she said, is necessary for "communication reasons, identification reasons and security reasons."
Quebec set to pass law banning face coverings for anyone receiving public service