Toronto council backs fight against Quebec’s Bill 21, calling it ‘contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians’
May 10, 2018 – Torontonians overwhelmingly support the city’s bid to get Quebec Bill 21, a controversial Bill aimed at denying recognition of Indigenous peoples, put on hold.
At this week’s council meeting, council approved a motion to continue the motion from July 2, 2018, when the provincial government presented the bill, to June 15, 2019, when the bill will be reconsidered and voted upon by the national assembly.
Councillor Mike Layton, who sponsored the motion, said this is a victory for the city, Torontonians and all Canadians.
“Quebec’s Bill 21 is contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians and is an unacceptable assault on the rights and privileges guaranteed to Indigenous peoples under our constitution,” he wrote in a release today.
“It threatens to set back our reconciliation agenda forever,” Layton said in a second release. “It will be a travesty and this should be one of the last battles before the Supreme Court renders its decision on Indigenous peoples’ rights to be recognized under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
“This is a victory for democracy, for human rights, and for the principles of reconciliation and respect for everyone who lives the city,” Layton said in a third release. “It is also a victory for Canada and its legal system.”
The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which passed the legislation, said in February that they are looking to the Supreme Court to overturn the Indian Act, a controversial piece of legislation passed by Parliament in 1976, which denied Indigenous peoples rights to self-determination as well as their lands.
Quebec’s Bill 21 came into effect on June 4, 2018 and will take effect in two years. In Quebec, the bill would take away the Indigenous peoples�