No exemptions from Bill 21, for Montreal or anybody: minister

Quebec's Minister for Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness shot down any notion Tuesday of any kind of special status for Montreal which would exempt it from having to apply Bill 21.

Simon Jolin-Barrette told reporters at the National Assembly that despite a unanimous resolution passed at Montreal city hall Monday denouncing the religious neutrality bill, he made it clear that it will apply to all Quebecers, no matter where they are.

City officials are expected to take part in committee hearings on Bill 21 in May — and while Jolin-Barrette indicated he is willing to speak with the mayor, and debate the issues, there will be no relaxing the bill to accommodate Montreal's opposition.

"There will be no special status for Montreal," Jolin-Barrette said. "The will of Quebec remains firm that the religious neutrality of the state musty be inscribedin our laws."

Meanwhile, Quebec Solidaire MNA Sol Zanetti, who represents a riding in Quebec City, says the government needs to understand that the effects of the law will be felt the most in Montreal, and going against the city's will would be a bad move.