Despite a verdict by Quebec’s human rights tribunal that called on the city of Saguenay to end the practice of reciting a Christian prayer at the start of council meetings, the crucifix, a symbol of Christianity, is staying in the Quebec National Assembly.

In ruling that the council prayer infringed on the freedom of conscience of Alain Simoneau, the non-believer who made the complaint against the city and its mayor, Jean Tremblay, Quebec’s human rights tribunal also ordered the municipality to remove all religious symbols from city hall.

And it required Tremblay and the city to pay Simoneau $30,000 in damages.

Provincial Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil, who is piloting Bill 94, which would ban anyone dispensing or receiving government services from wearing Islamic face coverings, indicated through an aide that the government is not changing its position that the crucifix in the assembly is part of Quebec’s “historic heritage.”

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