Quebec Education Department admits to surveying schools on religious symbols

Quebec's Education Department has admitted it began surveying schools months ago about how many employees wear religious symbols on the job.

The Canadian Press obtained a copy of a survey sent to schools across the province asking principals to count the number of teachers and other personnel who wear visible religious symbols.

Last week, the Coalition Avenir Quebec government was accused of religious profiling after Education Department officials called school boards seeking records of how many board employees wear religious symbols.

Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge said last week's criticism was unfair because the same questions had been asked in a survey that was conceived last June, when the Liberals were in office.

He said the survey was officially sent by the Education Department in November, without his knowledge.

The Canadian Press approached Roberge's office, the Education Department and the office of Premier Francois Legault for comment on the survey yesterday, but received no response.

Hours later, Roberge held a news conference giving details about the survey and denouncing the criticism he faced last week.