Councillor calls for HRM to oppose Quebec's Bill 21

·1 min read
Demonstrators stand outside the courthouse on the first day of the constitutional challenge to Bill 21 in Montreal in November 2020. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Demonstrators stand outside the courthouse on the first day of the constitutional challenge to Bill 21 in Montreal in November 2020. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)

A Dartmouth councillor wants the Halifax Regional Municipality not only to voice its opposition to Quebec's Bill 21 but also to contribute $50,000 to a legal challenge.

"When I look at all the different religious communities in HRM, I just think, this is just wrong," said Coun. Tony Mancini, who represents District 6 (Harbourview-Burnside-Dartmouth East).

Bill 21 was adopted in June 2019.

It prohibits government employees from wearing religious symbols while they are working, including head and face coverings. An elementary teacher was reassigned in December because of her hijab.

Mancini thinks Halifax should join other municipalities such as Brampton, Toronto and Calgary to "confirm our commitment to upholding" the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"There are some who will say this is beyond our mandate," said Mancini. "But sometimes a call to action is needed and you need to do the right thing."

Mancini's request for a staff report on the issue will be discussed at Tuesday's regional council meeting.

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