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Toronto Mayor John Tory asks his council to finance fight against Bill 21

Tory’s announcement follows a decision by Brampton city council to contribute $100,000 to the legal challenge of Quebec’s secularism law.

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About 200 people gathered outside the office of Gatineau MNA Robert Bussière to protest Quebec’s secularism law on Dec. 14, 2021. Photo by Postmedia

Toronto Mayor John Tory on Thursday urged his city’s councillors to follow the lead of Brampton’s city council and fund the legal challenge against Quebec’s Bill 21 , which bans the wearing of religious symbols by some civil servants.

I continue to be opposed to Quebec’s Bill 21. Toronto City Council has also repeatedly voiced its opposition to this bill. Today, I will ask City Council to help fund the legal fight against Bill 21. pic.twitter.com/TyekKVJ2NX

— John Tory (@JohnTory) December 16, 2021

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On his Twitter account, Tory said he continues to oppose Bill 21 and “Toronto city council has also repeatedly voiced its opposition to this bill.” The mayor of Canada’s largest city also urged other municipalities “to join this fight to uphold the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

Tory’s announcement came after the city council of Brampton, a suburb of Toronto, voted to approve that $100,000 be given to three organizations that are challenging Bill 21 in court.

Brampton, with a population of 650,000, is the first Canadian city to contribute financially to challenging the law.

The legal challenge is being conducted by the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the World Sikh Organization of Canada, both based in Ottawa, as well as the Toronto-based Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

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Brampton is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Canada. It says that by contributing to the court challenge of Bill 21, it is expressing its support for what diversity brings to local communities and to Canada as a whole.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown says Bill 21 is discriminatory and that freedom of religion is a fundamental right that must be protected.

Brown is a former head of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and led the province’s official opposition from 2015 to 2018.

Brampton city council says it will not tolerate that the burden of defending religious freedom falls on the backs of racialized communities facing what the council describes as the unlimited resources of the Quebec government. It adds that given the absence of any involvement by the government of Canada , funding from major Canadian cities could even the odds.

The resolution by Brampton city council will be sent to the Ontario legislature as well as groups representing Canadian municipalities, inviting them to join in the financing of the fight against Bill 21.

More On This Topic

  1. Trudeau won’t rule out federal intervention in challenge to Bill 21

  2. Montreal protesters denounce Bill 21, show support for Chelsea teacher

  3. Bill 21: NDP toughens stance, Bloc wants UN ambassador to face committee

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James Mackreides
'Mac' is a short tempered former helicopter pilot , now a writer based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Loves dogs, the outdoors and staying far away from the ocean.

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