THE World Sikh Organization of Canada on Thursday welcomed the City of Brampton’s motion approving $100,000 of financial support to the legal challenge against Quebec’s Bill 21 and called on other municipalities to follow suit.
Community organizations including the WSO, National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association have spearheaded the legal challenge against Bill 21. The case is currently before the Quebec Court of Appeal.
The Brampton resolution reads:
Therefore Be It Resolved:
1. That the City of Brampton support the current legal challenge against the discrimination of freedom of religion in Quebec’s Bill 21 – An Act respecting the laicity of the State; and
2. That the Council of The Corporation of the City of Brampton provide a one-time 2021 contribution of up to $100,000 to the joint legal challenges of Bill 21 by National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), the World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), with staff identifying the appropriate funding source; and
3. That a copy of this Resolution be sent to:
the Canadian Big City Mayors, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) requesting they share with all their member municipalities inviting municipal contributions to support the legal challenge; and
the Region of Peel, City of Mississauga, Town of Caledon and all Members of Parliament and Ontario Members of Provincial Parliament, requesting their support.
Several city councils across Canada including Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Victoria and others passed motions condemning Bill 21 after it was passed by the Government of Quebec in 2019.
WSO National President Tejinder Singh Sidhu said: “We thank Brampton City Council and Mayor Patrick Brown for their leadership in passing this motion in support of the legal challenge of Bill 21.
“Bill 21 is undeniably discriminatory and violates basic human rights such as freedom of religion, that we cherish in Canada. The law sets a dangerous precedent that must be challenged and could potentially lead to our rights and freedoms being infringed by governments in other jurisdictions in Canada.
“The WSO along with NCCM and CCLA have been fighting to overturn Bill 21 in the Courts and it is refreshing to see this leadership from the City of Brampton in taking meaningful action to support the legal challenge. We call upon other cities across Canada to follow Brampton’s example and pass similar motions.
“It is time for all Canadians to stand united against discrimination and racism and ensure that Bill 21 is struck down.”
ON Thursday, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman tweeted: “I stand with other cities across Canada who are joining the battle to uphold the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
He included the following image: