Calgary’s mayor wants to pitch in for fight against Bill 21
Posted Dec 15, 2021 03:37:44 PM.
Last Updated Dec 16, 2021 09:51:21 AM.
As criticism grows around the country in response to Quebec’s controversial Bill 21, Calgary’s mayor wants to put some money into a legal fund that will push back against the legislation.
Bill 21, which bars Quebecers in the public service from wearing religious symbols, made headlines again recently when a teacher was removed from the classroom because she wears a hijab.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown announced on Wednesday morning that he will be pledging money towards a legal fight against the bill, and calls on other big-city mayors to follow suit.
We can’t allow the defense of the Charter & the foundational value of religious freedom to be on the backs of racialized communities against a provincial gov’t with unlimited legal resources.
— Patrick Brown (@patrickbrownont) December 15, 2021
“It is my firm belief that we cannot allow the defense of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, defense of religious freedom, to fall on the backs of racialized communities. It’s not a fair fight,” Brown said.
Later on Wednesday, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said she had spoken to Brown and a special notice of motion will come forward next week courtesy of Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra.
Just got off the phone with @patrickbrownont. I agree with his proposal to challenge #Bill21. On Monday, @gccarra will bring an urgent motion for #ycccc to make a contribution for the legal challenge. We stand united in protecting racialized communities against discrimination. https://t.co/SNTV9vtKd7
— Jyoti Gondek (@JyotiGondek) December 15, 2021
“Bill 21 is something that needs to be challenged. What Quebec is doing is absolutely unconscionable. So, together with (Mayor Brown) we are issuing a challenge to other municipalities in this country asking us to contribute to the legal challenge,” said Gondek.
“It is the National Council of Canadian Muslims that’s bringing the challenge forward. So that would be the recipient of the funding as we coalesce the funding together as municipalities.”
Gondek added that back in the summer of 2019, council backed a motion condemning Bill 21 which also called for a nationwide initiative from the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination.
She said they will look into any action that may have been taken as a result of that resolution.
I’m proud to have been part of the last #yyccc’s early condemnation of #Bill21 (led by @ChahalGeorge @nenshi & @JyotiGondek). It’s critical that this #yyccc stand w @patrickbrownont & cities across #Canada now that we’re witnessing the #racist outcomes of the bill. https://t.co/Jvdwe119Gk
— Gian-Carlo Carra (@gccarra) December 15, 2021
Brown also tweeted in response, thanking Carra for his continued condemnation of the bill.
During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Gondek said Calgary could contribute up to $100,000 in the legal battle.
While municipal leaders are appearing to stand up against the controversial legislation, provincial and federal governments have largely shied away, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying that while he is opposed to the bill he will not step into the legal fight.