From 2003 to 2016 Rhoda Howard-Hassmann held a Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights at Wilfrid Laurier University; from 1976 to 2003 she was a professor of sociology at McMaster University. She has won several academic awards for her work on international human rights, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She is the author of eight books, most recently State Food Crimes (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and In Defense of Universal Human Rights (Polity, 2018), and is co-editor of four others, most recently The Human Right to Citizenship (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).
The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government has introduced Bill 21, a law that would supposedly entrench religious neutrality in the province. It would do so by prohibiting providers of government services in positions of authority such as judges, police and teachers from wearing religious symbols, including hijabs (headscarves for female Muslims), turbans (for male Sikhs), kippas (skullcaps for male Jews) and visible Christian crosses.