Toronto council backs fight against Quebec’s Bill 21, calling it ‘contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians’.
Toronto council leaders have come out against Bill 21, calling it “contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians.”
“Any form of discrimination is wrong,” said Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paul Ainslie. “At a time when Canada is increasingly accepting Canadians of many different backgrounds, it is especially important for Torontonians to stand together in support of Bill 21.”
Bill 21 has passed despite the strong opposition of local politicians, says the Mayor of Montreal.
“I think it’s an absolute shame that the mayor of Quebec City and the provincial government were so unwilling to support this. We’ll see the other side of it but I hope there will be a change in Quebec’s [decision],” said Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.
Toronto Council voted 12-1 in favour of the Bill Tuesday.
“We need to be prepared to take action if these policies [Bill 21] are implemented. I hope that the government of Quebec will act swiftly and allow us to have another respectful public debate,” said Ainslie.
The Bill is designed to prevent Muslim and Sikh students and workers in Canada from wearing face veils in public. The face veil has been introduced in many European countries for religious reasons. It was also introduced to counter the increasing influence of Muslim immigrants in Europe.
In the last few months, the Bill has been subject to intense opposition and debate, with the Toronto Police Service citing safety concerns and the Quebec government threatening legal action over Bill 21.
On January 31, the day that the Quebec government announced that it plans to use a provision of Bill 21 as a legal weapon in its battle against Bill 101, a similar Bill introduced in Ontario, the City of Toronto became the first major city to pass an official motion