ACTION ALERT: BILL 21
SIGN THIS LETTER CALLING ON CANADIAN POLITICAL LEADERS TO DENOUNCE & TAKE ACTION ON BILL 21
Sign Now: Send an email to the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Youth and all five Halton Members of Parliament:
Burlington: Minister Karina Gould
Halton Hills: Michael Chong
Milton: Adam van Koeverden
Oakville: Minister Anita Anand
Oakville-North Burlington: Pam Damoff
RE: BILL 21 IS A GENDERED ISLAMOPHOBIA PUBLIC SAFETY CONCERN
Dear Minister Mendicino & Minister Ien,
I am writing to express my deep concern about Bill 21 in Quebec, the discriminatory law that targets civil servants from wearing religious attire, including the turban, kippah, crosses and the hijab. On December 2, 2021, a teacher in Chelsea, Quebec was removed from her teaching position due to her observance of the hijab. The Fundamental Freedoms section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it is stated that “Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of conscience and religion.” Why then, has Bill 21 been uncontested, unchallenged and unquestioned by the Canadian government and leaders?
Gendered Islamophobia occurs when the state utilizes gendered forms of violence to oppress, monitor, punish and control Muslim bodies. Bill 21 disproportionately impacts CanadIan Muslim women who wear the hijab.
This law has real life consequences, not only on the civil servants targeted unfairly in Quebec due to their faith attire and current and future impacts on their livelihood but also has impacts on all Canadian Muslims. The six month mark of the violent murder of four Canadian Muslims in London, Ontario recently passed. Discriminatory laws in Canada like Bill 21 send a clear message to Canadians, that discriminating against Canadian Muslims (and other faith groups observing religious attire) is acceptable. Bill 21 is not only a public safety concern in Quebec, it is a public safety concern for the entirety of Canada.
The erroneous message that Bill 21 conveys only adds to systemic racism/systemic Islamophobia in Canada. It must be stopped.
As Minister of Public Safety and Minister for Women, Gender Equality and Youth, I urge you to take action on ensuring a holistic government response is coordinated to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals observing religious attire in Quebec; by denouncing Bill 21, introducing anti-hate legislation in Canada and urging the Prime Minister to intervene in the court proceedings of Bill 21.
It is time to meet the moment, Minister Mendicino and Minister Ien. I urge you to take action to prove your commitment in ensuring Canadian Muslim women and girls rights and freedoms are upheld and to ensure the safety of our diverse communities.