Abattoir job posting sparks tempest

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Added: Wed, 01/30/2019 - 3:47pm
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Allyson Beauregard

SHAWVILLE – An online job listing for Halal butchers by l’Abattoir Les viandes du Pontiac sparked controversy when it was spread via social media by a local
resident. The ad offers four full-time positions, but stipulates the applicants must be Muslim.
The social media post generated racist comments, claiming the owners are
discriminating based on religion, which is against the Quebec Charter, and favour hiring people from outside the region.
Sofianne El-Ketroussi, president of l’Abattoir
Les viandes du Pontiac, explained that Halal certification involves specific slaughtering practices, and that prayers are spoken during the process, which requires the butcher to be Muslim. He emphasized that out of the 10 to 12 people on the production line, only one needs to be Muslim for Halal certification and that there are no requirements for the other employees.
“We currently have a dozen employees and 11 are residents of the MRC Pontiac. We only have one Muslim employee, so we posted the job to attract others to simply cover holidays and absences because it's absolutely necessary to have a Muslim on the production line for Halal,” he stressed.
El-Ketroussi said the additional Muslim employees will also accommodate future expansion; they hope to employ between 20-25 people by the end of 2020.
While job discrimination based on religion is against the Quebec Charter, section 20 provides an exclusion when an employer demonstrates there's a rational link with the execution of the tasks required.     
With files from François Carrier.