London council giving $100K to authorized struggle in opposition to Quebec’s secularism legislation

It is concerning the message greater than the cash, politicians mentioned.

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It’s concerning the message greater than the cash, politicians mentioned.


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London metropolis council voted overwhelmingly to spend $100,000 on a authorized struggle in opposition to Quebec’s secularism legislation as a present of management and a sign it’s prepared to place money behind the struggle in opposition to Islamophobia.

“This isn’t only a struggle for Muslims. This can be a struggle about human rights,” Ward 6 Coun. Mariam Hamou, the primary Muslim girl on London metropolis council, mentioned Tuesday night time.

She tabled the movement, together with Mayor Ed Holder and deputy mayor Josh Morgan, after a name to motion from Brampton, the place Mayor Patrick Brown requested Canada’s 100 largest cities to assist fund a joint authorized problem by the Nationwide Council of Canadian Muslims, World Sikh Group and Canadian Civil Liberties Affiliation.

“If there ever was a chance to face up, be counted and matter, it’s this,” Holder informed his colleagues.

He referred to as Invoice 21, which prohibits Quebec public servants in positions of authority from carrying spiritual symbols, “abhorrent.”

“It’s the antithesis of all the pieces we, as a council, signify,” Holder mentioned.


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A number of councillors made be aware of the tragic deaths of 4 members of the Afzaal household, killed on June 6 whereas out for a stroll after they had been struck by a pickup truck. London police allege the household was focused due to their Muslim religion.

A 20-year-old London man is charged with 4 counts of first-degree homicide, and prosecutors are pursuing terrorism as the premise of these fees.

We, particularly in London , have a accountability to supply that counter-message” to xenophobia and Islamophobia, Ward 5 Coun. Maureen Cassidy mentioned. 

Although council voted unanimously to oppose Quebec’s controversial rule and voice help for the authorized problem in opposition to it, not all agreed to again that vote with money.

Council voted 13-2 to supply a one-time grant of $100,000 towards the authorized problem. Councillors Michael van Holst (Ward 1) and Paul Van Meerbergen (Ward 10) voted in opposition to. All others had been in favour.


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The opponents mentioned it isn’t council’s position to fund a authorized struggle in opposition to an out-of-province legislation. Van Holst inspired Londoners to make their very own donation, saying he gave $100.

Van Meerbergen mentioned it will be “inappropriate” to spend taxpayer {dollars} on the struggle, nevertheless “incorrect” Quebec legal guidelines could also be.

“It’s incorrect, lots of people realize it’s incorrect, however once more, that’s in Quebec. It’s totally completely different jurisdiction from us,” he mentioned.

Ward 3 Coun. Mo Salih urged his colleagues to consider carefully about “n ot solely the sources, however the message we ship,” noting London’s Muslim neighborhood had requested clearly for council’s help.

“(Why) decelerate when we have now a chance to make it very clear that what is occurring in our nation, in one other a part of our nation, is unacceptable?” he mentioned, including it’s time to do extra than simply stand in solidarity.


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Council sought authorized recommendation on the movement, disappearing behind closed doorways for a short interval firstly of its debate.

Metropolis supervisor Lynne Livingstone gave a verbal replace on the efforts underway to shore up council’s movement condemning Islamophobia after the June 6 assault rocked the town. A collection of suggestions will come again to politicians early in February, together with a plan to honour the Afzaal household.


“Municipalities have all the time been on the centre of pushing boundaries and pushing for extra autonomy . . . we can not look previous the worth of defending the rights our residents care about.”

Deputy mayor Josh Morgan

“Individuals are allowed to be who they’re, with out worry of reprisal. That may seem to be only a fact right here, however it’s not. Members of our neighborhood had been focused due to what they wore.”

Ward 11 Coun. Stephen Turner

“Now we have to face up for justice for all folks . . . we are able to present those that they do belong, whether or not they’re Sikh or Jewish or Muslim, no matter sort of spiritual symbols they’re carrying. There’s a variety of worth on this, and I feel our municipal authority does cowl it.”

Ward 4 Coun. Jesse Helmer

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