Quebec government issues formal notice to five Jewish schools ordering them to close

The Legault government on Wednesday delivered a formal notice to five Hassidic Jewish schools for their refusal to comply with the province’s strict lockdown.

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The Quebec government ordered the closure of all schools from December 17th to January 10th, a convenient closure for schools going into holiday recess.

Schools for the Hasidic Jewish community continued operating through the holiday period. 

The Quebec government issued a formal notice to five such schools for their “refusal” to comply with the province’s demands, demanding that the schools close, otherwise the government could issue injunctions.

The Council of Hasidic Jews of Quebec argued that the students of these schools do not have access internet due to their way of living. Closing schools would therefore halt the children’s education with no possibility of online teaching. 

“We believe that we are not only within the law, but also have a duty to keep our schools open for the good of the children in our communities”, the Council’s spokesperson told reporters.

According to experts, the government’s request to close Hasidic Jewish schools could pose an affront to religious freedoms granted by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

The Quebec government has however shown it believes these rights are not absolute. Legault imposed a curfew on all Quebeckers from 8 PM to 5 AM, restricting the constitutionally guaranteed liberty of movement. 

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