Immigrants, visible minorities say Quebec government targeting them with bills

Immigrants and visible minorities are noticing most significant pieces of legislation introduced by the Coalition Avenir Quebec government since it took power have something in common, the bills disproportionately affect them.

Quebec's Bill 21, which bans some public sector employees from wearing religious symbols, has drawn widespread criticism since Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette tabled it last month.

But Haniyfa Scott, a Montreal teacher, says Muslim women who wear the hijab will feel it the most.

Bill 17, tabled last month, also overhauls a taxi industry that is heavily comprised of immigrants.

Joseph Naufal, the director of a Montreal taxi company who also works for the industry association, estimates about 90 per cent of the city's taxi drivers are first- or second-generation immigrants.

The drivers say the bill, which abolishes a permit system, will bring many of them into bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, Bill 9, tabled in February, creates a legal framework granting the government the authority to be more selective over who receives permanent residency in Quebec.