EDITORIAL: Winnipeg should oppose Quebec Bill 21
October 18, 2019 at 5:12 CDT
Winnipeg County City. Shawn Nason will address the media about a proposal to come to the council on October 24 to support opposition to Quebec's 21st bill as a state. Janice Lukes and Simarpreet Singh watch at Winnipeg Town Hall on Wednesday, October 16, 2019. Josh Aldrich / Winnipeg Sun / Postmedia
When Quebec passed Bill 21 - prohibiting the wearing of religious clothing, including turban, hijab and crosses - by civil servants, it was a disgrace to Canada as a whole.Not just because of the law itself, but because of the deafening silence of our country's leaders.
It's starting to change. And this week, in Winnipeg, a couple of city councilors rightly called out Quebec law was wrong.
Council members Janice Lukes (Waverley West) and Shawn Nason (Transcona) say the city should stand by the law.
Lukes said he did this because "it is important for the council to stand, take a firm stand and send a message that we are against discrimination, because I think Bill 21, like many people, is discriminatory".
Quebec, despite enacting this law, invoked the clause and overruled the guarantees contained in the Canadian and Quebec Charter of Rights, which testifies to the loss of fundamental rights.Governments are presumed to be secular, where religion does not influence government or public institutions.
Regulating what some public employees do at work does not facilitate this objective.
It creates disagreement, temptation and anger.
It is regrettable that the federal party leaders have all been relatively quiet on this issue and are giving Quebec permission during the elections. Why? It seems obvious that they are all going to Quebec to vote in order to strengthen their power, and therefore they are ignoring the fundamental question of what it means to be Canada.
As far as this topic goes, it means we accept those who look different. We accept those who worship differently. We are all right with the civil servant wearing the cross, the turban or the hijab. What they carry does not affect the service provided. It does not influence or influence the government decision-making process.
Quebec is really proud of being welcoming and open, and for the most part it is. Bill 21, however, brings darker days. Religious minorities are forced to feel like second-class citizens.
And that's not right. That's why politicians from every corner of Canada should stand up and say that the law should be removed from Quebec's books.Therefore, councilors Lukes and Nason have the right to demand that Winnipeg condemn Act 21.
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