Toronto council backs fight against Quebec’s Bill 21, calling it ‘contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians’
Toronto council has voted on Wednesday to fight the Quebec government over Bill 21, calling it “contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians.”
The motion was approved by a council committee on Tuesday as part of a process called the council’s “special agenda.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory (open John Tory’s policard) has been a long-standing and vocal opponent of Bill 21 in the City of Toronto.
“People who work hard every day and look after kids in schools and neighborhoods deserve a voice in our democracy,” Tory said Wednesday.
“I think we need to stand up for our values as a country that has a rule of law, that has a rule of democracy and that has a rule of respect for the rights of people,” he added.
The full vote on the special agenda is expected by the end of the week, with a final version of the proposed motion to come back to council on Tuesday next week. The council will then have five weeks to decide whether to approve or reject the motion.
The Canadian public must also be consulted before the bill is introduced into the House of Commons, which takes place on June 17, 2017.
The motion, which is aimed at Quebec, makes it clear that any discussion of Bill 21 must take place outside of Quebec, and that the bill must be amended — if required — by June 19 to remove any reference to Bill 21 in Canada Act, C-45.
The proposal will allow for the discussion of Bill 21 without “intruding” Quebec, said Council Member Stephen Holyday, a member of council’s public works committee.
“The motion takes into account that Bill 21 is clearly contrary to the values of Torontonians. That is why Toronto is the first municipality in Canada to publicly oppose the bill,” Holyday said.
“The City is at the forefront of a multi-pronged response to the bill that demonstrates the City’s commitment to fighting for and protecting the rights of all Torontonians.”