Legislative Assembly of Ontario affirms belief in equality and freedom of expression

Published on November 25, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                   

TORONTO- Today, the Legislative Assembly formally affirmed its belief in equality, freedom of expression and the protection of those who express those beliefs in a public or identifiable manner.  Government House Leader Paul Calandra made a ministerial statement recognizing the importance of diversity, religious freedom, and national unity. Several Ministers and Members of Provincial Parliament also spoke to the motion including Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria and Member of Provincial Parliament, Kaleed Rasheed.

The subject of the motion, Quebec Bill 21, is intended to eradicate religious symbols in most of the public sector. After a long debate, the bill went through with support from the Parti Québécois, thus formally banning teachers, police officers, judges and many other professionals from wearing items like hijabs, turbans, kippas, and crucifixes in the course of their duties.

“I am deeply concerned that here in Ontario and in parts of Canada, we have seen an increase in Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia or any hatred playing a role in our country” said MPP Rasheed. “I am proud of the Premier for his dedication and hard work to uniting our province and creating a better and safer future for all Ontarians.”

Bill 21 came in effect in September. Several municipalities across Ontario including the city of Mississauga have already passed motions expressing their concern.

Last week, after meeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Ford pledged to work hard, across party lines to protect what matters most to the people of Ontario, this includes standing up for individuals’ rights and freedoms to their religion.

In his Ministerial statement Minister Calandra said “Premier Ford is building on the legacies of those who came before him to strengthen our economy, unify our people and bridge the barriers between different provinces and regions of the country.” He later stated, “Let me be clear – Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives will vote in favour of this motion like we did earlier this month with a similar motion.”

“My colleagues and I on both sides of the legislature remain united in our opposition to any form of legislation that would restrict or deny anyone's right to religious freedom, and equality,” said MPP Rasheed. “We know that in Ontario it is our shared responsibility to stand up for those who cannot do it on their own, we will continue to do just that!”

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About MPP Kaleed Rasheed

Kaleed Rasheed local political figure who is currently the Member of Provincial Parliament for Mississauga East-Cookeville in Ontario, Canada. He is currently the Deputy Government Whip and the Chair of the Legislative Assembly committee.  MPP Rasheed is a local voice for the people, who wants to help create a better and prosperous province for all.

 

Media Contact

Naila Mahmood

Legislative Advisor for Kaleed Rasheed, MPP

Kaleed.rasheed@pc.ola.org