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Toronto City Council Passes Motion to Protest Quebec’s Bill 21

Toronto City Council Passes Motion to Protest Quebec’s Bill 21

Toronto council backs fight against Quebec’s Bill 21, calling it ‘contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians’

VICTORIA, B.C.—The Toronto city council passed a motion Monday night that takes a stand against one of Quebec’s top legislative priorities, Bill 21, a national ban on religious symbols and the same-sex “gay lifestyle” as “a form of prejudice or discrimination” in the country.

The motion passed by a vote of 40-23, with councillors Timemade and Giorgio Mammoliti voting against it, and Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam and Ward 11’s Jennifer McKittrick in favour.

The three Progressive Conservative councillors who opposed the motion voted in favour of it, while the three NDP councillors who supported it voted against it, meaning the motion is now headed for a scheduled vote by the full city council on Tuesday.

“I voted against the motion in part because I believe that Canada should recognize that there is a conflict between the Constitution of the state of Quebec and its laws,” said Coun. Mike Layton, who voted in favour of the motion.

The vote was the second time in the past two years the council voted against Bill 21, the law that prohibits the wearing of religious symbols in public schools, colleges and universities, and creates a “gay registry” where suspected gay people can be harassed and searched by police.

Coun. John Parker, who voted against the motion, questioned the rationale behind the resolution, saying that it goes too far for the city to give legal recognition to two opposing views in society.

“It’s unfortunate that this is part of a strategy to use the issue of Bill 21 as a shield to protect the institution of marriage and the institution of the Catholic Church,” said Parker, the former Liberal councillor who resigned from the party in November to run for mayor. The NDP councillor, meanwhile, urged the council to support legislation that would establish a human rights commission to study the effect of Bill 21 on the city and protect people’s human rights in this country. Council voted to forward Bill 21 and asked the city solicitor to prepare legal arguments against the law.

Bill 21 is expected to go before the country’s

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