Brampton to provide $100,000 to organizations fighting for religious freedom in Quebec

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Published December 16, 2021 at 9:40 am

The City of Brampton will be providing financial support to several advocacy groups fighting for religious freedom in Quebec.

On Wednesday (December 15), during a special City Council meeting, a motion was passed which stipulated Brampton will provide $100,000 in funding to the National Council of Canadian Muslims, the World Sikh Organization of Canada, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in their legal challenge of Quebec’s Bill 21.

The Bill, which passed in 2019, prohibits public employees from wearing visible religious symbols in the workplace, including turbans, kippahs, hijabs and visible crucifixes.

It drew national attention this week, when a teacher from Chelsea, Quebec was removed from her classroom for wearing a hijab.

While the Bill prohibits all visible symbols of religious affiliation, due to its nature, it disproportionately affects minority religious groups, such as Muslims and Sikhs.

“If we allow religious freedom to be infringed upon in Quebec, where you cannot wear a hijab and be a teacher or wear a turban and be a police officer, we set a dangerous precedent,” Mayor Patrick Brown said during a press conference on Wednesday.

Additionally, Brown is calling on other mayors of Canada’s largest cities to join Brampton in providing financial assistance to support these organizations challenging the Bill.

“It is my firm belief that we can’t allow the defense of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the defense of religious freedoms, to fly on the backs of racialized communities—it’s not a fair fight when you have racialized communities struggling to defend the Charter against a provincial government with unlimited legal resources,” he said. “That’s not a level playing field.”

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