Community / Press Release

EMSB awaits Quebec Court of Appeal ruling on Bill 21

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Montreal - Monday, October 18, 2021

The English Montreal School Board is hopeful that a Quebec Court of Appeal decision will be rendered in the coming days or weeks that will permit the temporary hiring of principals, vice-principals and teachers who wear religious symbols.

Last April, a Quebec Superior Court decision found that Bill 21, An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State, violated the English-language minority’s constitutionally protected right to manage and control its institutions and exempted English-language school boards from its application.  Bill 21 bars public-school teachers, government lawyers, judges and police officers from wearing religious symbols while at work.  Because the Quebec government appealed the decision, the EMSB and other English-language school boards are still unable to hire principals, vice-principals and teachers who wear religious symbols.

Today, the EMSB asked a judge of the Court of Appeal to be exempted from Bill 21 before the appeal is decided, which could take as long as a year. The EMSB hopes that the decision will be rendered shortly.

About the English Montreal School Board

With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic line, the network consists of 77 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at

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