MPP calls on Ontario legislature to denounce Quebec's Bill 21, prevent enacting similar law


An Ontario MPP is calling on provincial legislators to voice their opposition over Quebec's controversial Bill 21 — which bans religious symbols for public sector employees — and wants politicians to promise that a similar law would never be passed at Queen’s Park.

Liberal MPP Michael Coteau will introduce a motion in the provincial legislature tomorrow affirming that Ontario is committed to defending religious rights and freedoms. 

Coteau’s motion calls on the government to “oppose any law that would seek to restrict or limit the religious freedoms of our citizens” and protect and promote religious rights. 

Quebec’s Bill 21 has been widely decried as discriminatory, preventing people who wear turbans or hijabs from working in schools or in the civil service. 

"As a former Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, I believe a critical duty of the Members of our Legislature is to recognize, embrace, promote and protect the rights of all Ontarians guaranteed under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights signed by Canada in 1976," Coteau said in a release issued Wednesday.

In October, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said he was not happy with the growing movement against Bill 21. Legault said he would continue to discuss the matter with his counterparts in other provinces.

As it stands, Premier Doug Ford has yet to public denounce the controverisal bill.

"It is my hope that you and your respective caucuses will join me in supporting this motion to convey with solidarity and strength a clear message to Ontarians, and to all Canadians, that this province celebrates and stands together with all our people in support of our diversity, and in defence of our rights and freedoms," Coteau said.