Toronto council backs fight against Quebec’s Bill 21, calling it ‘contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians’
This post has been updated to reflect the fact that Bill 10 is not being called a Charter of Values.
The Toronto city council has voted unanimously to ask the Ontario government to step in and block Quebec’s Bill 21, a law that critics say will erode the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.
The vote on Tuesday night was the first time officials in Toronto have voted to fight a law that has been passed in other provinces.
Mayor John Tory, who has fought to defend the rights of Toronto’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, commended the decision in a statement on Tuesday night.
“The people of Toronto have spoken clearly and unequivocally,” said Tory. “At this point, it is clear that Quebec’s Bill 21 is contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians.”
“In light of this vote, the Ontario government should step in to defend the rights of our city and all Canadians.”
Council debated the issue over three and a half hours, with members voting to support the mayor, after a motion passed Thursday evening that said the law was “incompatible” with the city charter and that it violates the fundamental rights of those in the LGBT community.
A second vote is expected to be held after Monday’s federal election.
The motion, which was debated for more than three hours, came after members of the community at committee of conservation and development sat in as witnesses against Bill 21, which bans any public service employees in the province of Quebec from being able to refuse “cotton nose” service to a gay, lesbian or bisexual person or family.
Bill 21, which is scheduled to come into effect next January, has been widely condemned across the country, including by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who has said the bill would hurt the economic well-being of the province.
On Monday night, the city said in a statement that although it is not legally able to pass judgment on the constitutionality of