It was the kind of intellectual confrontation Bernard Drainville fully expected, but the witness stood her ground after telling the minister a hijab is part of her identity.

On the opening day of hearings into Bill 60, creating a Charter of Quebec Values, a first group representing immigrants rocked the Parti Québécois government's boat by saying the proposed legislation goes too far and violates their fundamental freedoms.

"Let me tell you our position, which will probably not please you at all," a frank-talking Samira Laouni told the committee off the top of her presentation. "Forcing us to choose between our identity and employment is, in our mind, a very odious choice, indeed."

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