Canada: charter seeks to ban civil service employees from wearing religious symbolsThe union representing Quebec‘s civil servants has backed a controversial charter of values which would ban public employees in the province from wearing religious symbols, including hijabs, turbans and large crucifixes. Union president Lucie Martineau said that civil servants are obliged to keep their personal opinions to themselves, and that should be extended to include religious opinions. Critics of the charter say it is a bureaucratic mess and unconstitutional.
Hong Kong: civil service praised by China’s vice presidentThe vice president of China, Li Yuanchao, praised Hong Kong’s civil servants for their contribution to the city, at a meeting with a delegation of 11 permanent secretaries in Beijing on 12 September. Li said the civil service played an important role in maintaining Hong Kong’s stability, prosperity and autonomy. He also said the Chinese central government fully supports Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying’s administration.