When Quebec enacted Invoice 21 in March 2019, Razia Hamidi had an unlucky resolution to make.
She might proceed residing within the province that had simply made it unlawful for individuals like her to work within the public sector, or she might go away.
She selected to go away, and a yr and a half in the past she resettled in Brampton, Ont. along with her household.
“The local weather it is created in Quebec was actually one thing I did not need to stay by means of anymore, being a girl who’s visibly Muslim and wears the scarf,” Hamidi stated. “I really feel like [Bill 21] legitimizes loads of Islamophobia that exists in Quebec.”
On Wednesday, Hamidi was joyful to study that Brampton mayor Patrick Brown had issued an attraction to 100 Canadian mayors to “be a part of the struggle” towards Quebec’s Invoice 21.
As a part of a movement carried in a particular council assembly at Brampton metropolis corridor, Brown invited mayors and councils from throughout the nation to donate to authorized funds preventing Invoice 21 in courts.
“Gone are the times after we can flip a blind eye to an injustice we see throughout municipal, provincial, and even federal boundaries,” Brown wrote in a letter. “Quebecers of all faiths are our brothers and sisters. They want our assist.”
Hamidi welcomed the mayor’s movement, recalling collaborating in a number of Montreal organizations making an attempt to create allyship and collect funding for the authorized battle towards the invoice throughout her time in Quebec.
She says till now the burden for authorized charges was on the backs of mosques, church buildings, synagogues, gurdwaras, and non-profit organizations just like the Nationwide Council of Canadian Muslims, and the World Sikh Group of Canada.
Leaders will ‘should reply for which aspect of historical past they have been on’
Invoice 21 prohibits public employees in Quebec from sporting spiritual symbols, whether or not a scarf, a turban, a kippah or a visual crucifix. The invoice targets Muslims, Sikhs, Jews and Christians, a lot of whom put on spiritual symbols as an expression of their id.
What number of of our fathers and brothers have been instructed to chop their hair and take away their turbans to achieve employment? How can we presumably flip the clock again now?– WSO senior vp Sharanjeet Kaur
Hamidi says the invoice “was an enormous think about lastly deciding to maneuver again to Ontario with my household, not eager to stay in a province the place the federal government is actively creating this tiered system of citizenship based mostly in your spiritual id and expression.”
“I feel loads of native and municipal leaders, particularly I hope our federal leaders, are going to should reply for which aspect of historical past they have been on on this interval of Canada,” Hamidi stated, noting the invoice has been in impact for 2 years.
Final week, a instructor in Chelsea, Que., Fatemeh Anvari, was reassigned from her job as a instructor to a place exterior the classroom as a result of she wore a scarf.
Shortly after, Quebec’s premier Francois Legault stated the instructor shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. That prompted backlash from communities throughout the nation.
‘Racism is dear’
In a public letter issued Wednesday, Brown stated, “A contribution from 100 municipalities throughout Canada is a small worth to pay versus the repetitional hurt that Canada will endure and the longer term monetary compensation which will come about if we permit this to face.”
“Racism is dear, doing the proper factor is an efficient funding,” he added.
NCCM’s government director Mustafa Farooq, who has lengthy been concerned within the struggle towards Invoice 21, stated Brown’s movement Wednesday was “nothing in need of historic,” and that he hopes it’ll immediate different cities to step up.
“I feel anyone that believes in civil liberties and within the fundamental dignity of human beings ought to oppose [Bill 21],” he stated. “There are lots of, many Quebecers who stand in opposition to this invoice and can proceed to face in opposition till it is struck down.”
Whereas Farooq spoke to metropolis council at a particular assembly on Wednesday, so did WSO senior vp Sharanjeet Kaur, who famous that one of many group’s board members, Amrit Kaur, needed to go away Quebec for British Columbia as a result of she could not work as a instructor as somebody who wore a turban.
“When our group first heard of this invoice, our mother and father and our grandparents began to recall the trauma of what they confronted after they first arrived in Canada,” she instructed metropolis council.
“What number of of our fathers and brothers have been instructed to chop their hair and take away their turbans to achieve employment? How can we presumably flip the clock again now?”
At a particular council assembly on Wednesday, Brown and metropolis councillors unanimously handed the movement to assist authorized challenges towards Invoice 21 and supply a one-time contribution of $100,000 to joint authorized challenges by NCCM, WSO, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Affiliation.
Kaur, a resident of Brampton, recommended town for being the primary municipality in Canada to cross a movement towards Invoice 21, first again in 2019, after which once more on Wednesday.
“Selecting between our religion and employment are usually not selections we should always have ever needed to make.”
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