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Canada Edmonton city council approves resolution to protest Quebec’s Bill 21

16:27  29 june  2020
16:27  29 june  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Edmonton city councillors used strong words Thursday to denounce Bill 21 in Quebec , calling the legislation discriminatory and racist. Several people from Edmonton ' s Sikh community spoke in front of council ' s executive committee Thursday, urging them to oppose the Quebec legislation.

Surrey City Councillor Brenda Locke is pushing back against Quebec ' s Bill 21 - which bans public sector workers from wearing religious symbols at work. Up next. Now playing: us. Surrey City Councillor Locke denounces Bill 21 . Global News.

a person holding a sign: People protest against Law 21 outside Quebec Premier Francois Legault's office in Montreal, Sunday, June 14, 2020, on the one year year anniversary of the controversial bill. © THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes People protest against Law 21 outside Quebec Premier Francois Legault's office in Montreal, Sunday, June 14, 2020, on the one year year anniversary of the controversial bill.

Edmonton city council has approved a resolution that it will present to Alberta's other cities and towns later this year to denounce Quebec's secularism law.

The legislation, known as Bill 21, bars some public-sector employees including teachers, police officers and judges from wearing religious symbols while at work.

Members of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association have until June 30 to submit resolutions for the fall convention and trade show. It is scheduled at the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre from Sept. 23 to 25.

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CALGARY—A Calgary city councillor wants the city to formally oppose Quebec legislation that forbids public servants from wearing religious George Chahal said Wednesday that he’s proposing the city adopt a resolution to oppose Quebec ’ s Bill 21 and “continue to support building a welcoming city .”

Quebec City mosque shooting survivor Saïd El-Amari said Sunday that he fears the ongoing debate over secularism in the province will only fuel anti-Muslim sentiment. "I am here to protest Bill 21 — a law that is racist and Islamophobic," he said. Quebec City mosque shooting survivor Saïd El-Amari

It is expected Calgary city council will second Edmonton's resolution after it approves the move at its meeting on Monday.

Edmonton Coun. Moe Banga has taken the lead on the resolution to condemn Quebec's ban on religious symbols in the public sector. Banga sits on the AUMA board as director for cities over 500,000.

Read more: Quebec government ‘happy’ after Supreme Court declines to hear Bill 21 challenge, premier says

Council heard stories of racism in its public hearings looking into police conduct.

"Discussions that we have been having in chambers last week have centred on recognition of the systemic nature of discrimination, bias and prejudice in our institutions and our systems," Banga said.

"Bill 21 is not a piece of legislation in Alberta. But this is not a reason for us to remain silent."

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Gatineau, Sherbrooke and Quebec City are among the cities also rallying to protest the bill on Sunday. READ MORE: ‘We will keep fighting until the end’: Protesters rally against Bill 21 /. The law adopted in June by the National Assembly came with a grandfather clause protecting teachers hired

Mayor Brian Bowman and city council formally condemned Bill 21 after unanimously passing a motion Thursday. A Manitoba Sikh organization that launched a campaign focusing on the harmful impacts of Quebec ' s Bill 21 has received support from Winnipeg city councillors.

Banga said systemic discrimination and biases "exist in all of our systems and institutions, and it manifests in many different ways."

"This resolution would be a public statement of opposition to the use of state apparatus to infringe on the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms," he said.

Read more: Quebec’s top court refuses to suspend province’s secularism law

On both occasions when Banga was sworn in as a city councillor, he tied a rumāl -- a Sikh bandana --around his head before taking the oath of office.

"It's not just us. It'll take all of us to let Quebec know that this is not fair and this is not good for our Charter of Rights," he said.

Three other resolutions Edmonton wants to submit by June 30 deal with supportive housing (which will be seconded by Grande Prairie), a fiscal framework for cities (by Red Deer) and for permanent transit funding (by St. Albert).

The three will be done "all enthusiastically from the conversations with their mayors," Mayor Don Iveson said when council voted on them this past week.

"That's important coalition-building with some of our mid-sized friends."

Edmonton police face $11M budget cut amid calls to defund police .
The Edmonton police service may be working with $11 million less next year after city council agreed in principle to the budget cut Tuesday. Council started debating a multi-pronged motion originally introduced June 10 in the midst of demonstrations against systemic racism and calls for the city to defund the police. The proposed budget cut has yet to be passed — that may happen when council reconvenes Thursday to finish debating the motion. Councillors Moe Banga, Jon Dziadyk, Tony Caterina, Tim Cartmell and Mike Nickel voted against defunding the police at this time.

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