TORONTO Mayor John Tory has ordered the City to take action to make sure that the more than 100 Sikh security guards removed from sites because of their beards are not discriminated against.
He said: “I fully expect City staff to continue investigating this complaint and to make any and all changes necessary, up to and including legal action, to make sure Sikh residents and people of all religions are fully respected.”
In a statement issued on Monday, he said: “The City of Toronto and all of its contractors must uphold human rights and fully comply with all relevant legislation and City policy.
“I firmly believe that no person should be discriminated against for their religious beliefs.
“I’ve asked City staff to work with all contractors involved to immediately resolve this issue and to be absolutely clear that we respect people’s human rights, including freedom of religion, and we expect all contractors to do the same and to properly accommodate employees.
“No City policy allows contractors to ignore or dismiss their employees’ religious beliefs or to fail to accommodate them.
“Any contract employees who were not accommodated for their religious beliefs should be immediately accommodated by the contractor. If anyone was fired, the contractor should immediately rehire those individuals.”
The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) on Monday had called for the immediate reinstatement of the Sikh security guards at City of Toronto sites who have been removed due to their religiously required facial hair.