Toronto council backs fight against Quebec’s Bill 21, calling it ‘contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians’
Toronto police officers stand tall at a protest in front of Toronto city hall Saturday, June 15, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario. Police are taking actions after Bill 21, a so-called ‘hate law’ targeting the LGBTQ community, was passed by Toronto City Council, making same-sex marriage illegal in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Toronto city councillors have voted to defy a government order requiring them to vote on Bill 21, Toronto’s anti-abortion “hate law.”
In a dramatic vote Saturday morning, councillors voted to ignore Premier Doug Ford’s order, the Toronto Star reports.
“I have fought hard for more than five years to ensure Toronto’s laws reflect the values and ideals of Torontonians and protect our diversity,” Councillor Josh Matlow said in a statement. “As a proud immigrant from a Muslim country, I am strongly against any attack on our freedoms. That’s why I’m voting against Bill 21.”
This law is a direct attack on LGBTQ rights. It’s also a terrible policy. The law would force trans people, who are among the most vulnerable. It’s just a horrible way to take a step forward in Ontario.
“We are disappointed by the decision of Toronto city councillors to ignore this order and refuse to implement Premier Doug Ford’s policy directive,” said Toronto Liberal Leader David Soknacki in a statement. “This legislation would force vulnerable people seeking legal relief to return to the status quo.”
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has already found that the law would create a “hostile environment,” making it illegal to have a conversation face-to-face in public spaces, in part because it would bar some religious organizations from allowing their clients to meet in their places of worship.
“Toronto city council’s refusal to put an end to discrimination and discrimination of people based on their gender identity or sexual orientation is an assault on basic rights,” Ontario lawyer Bruce Scott told the Star. “It’s an abuse of the legislative process.”
He adds that the government should