Toronto finances the challenge of the Quebec law on the secularism of the state

Toronto City Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Thursday to contribute financially to the legal challenge to Quebec’s law on the secularism of the state.

In a statement, the city said city council voted to reaffirm Toronto’s opposition to the law and to provide a $ 100,000 contribution to organizations that challenge it in court.

This legal challenge is led by the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the World Sikh Organization of Canada, two organizations based in Ottawa, as well as by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, based in Toronto.

Toronto also invited other Canadian municipalities to assert their opposition to the Secularism Act and to financially support the legal challenge.

The Canadian metropolis thus imitated Thursday the city council of Brampton, Ontario, which was the first to vote on Wednesday to pay $ 100,000 to the three organizations contesting the Quebec law.

The Law on State Secularism, passed in June 2019 by the National Assembly, prohibits state employees in positions of coercive authority, such as judges, police officers and prison guards, from wearing signs religious in the exercise of their functions.

This ban also extends to teachers in the public network. The debate on this law was revived this month when it was learned that a teacher from Chelsea, in the Outaouais, had been reassigned to other tasks because she was wearing the hijab in class.

“Torontonians and Canadians cannot stand idly by such a law which restricts the protection and respect accorded to religious freedoms and other fundamental freedoms by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” the mayor said Thursday. Toronto in a press release.

The City of Brampton, on the other hand, claims to be one of the most diverse Canadian municipalities. By contributing to the challenge of Quebec law, the City says it wants to illustrate its support for what diversity brings to local communities and to the country as a whole.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, a former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, says this law is discriminatory and that freedom of religion is a fundamental principle that must be defended.

Since Mayor Brown invited other cities to get involved, several municipalities across the country have indicated their support for his initiative and said they will submit funding requests to their respective councils.

Calgary’s new mayor, Jyoti Gondek, on Wednesday also said she wanted her city to contribute financially to the legal challenge of the “unreasonable” law.

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