WINNIPEG -- Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says his government will likely intervene in a future court battle over Quebec's secularism law.

In his annual state of the province speech, Pallister says Quebec's ban on religious symbols being worn by some civil servants is hurting Canada's reputation on the international stage.

He told some 1,300 people at a business luncheon that Canada must stand up for rights and freedoms, similar to the way Canadian soldiers fought in the world wars.

Pallister has been a vocal critic of the Quebec law, and says Manitoba will likely seek intervener status if the legislation winds up in the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Quebec Court of Appeal has rejected a request by some of the law's opponents to suspend parts of it until a full court hearing can be held.

Pallister also rejected speculation that he may leave office to either retire or run federally, saying he was recently re-elected and is committed to serving out his term.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 12, 2019.