Hampstead unanimously passes resolution not to enforce Bill 21 or recognize it as legitimate
The town of Hampstead passed a unanimous resolution Monday night stating that if Bill 21 becomes law, it won’t enforce the province’s secularism bill nor it will recognize it as legitimate.
“The town of Hampstead will not recognize the legitimacy of any law such as this one, which is inherently discriminatory,” Mayor William Steinberg said during council. “We will not comply, we will not enforce discriminatory laws.”
Before the approval, councillors spent 20 minutes debating with a Lasalle man, Jean-Francois Racine, who was in attendance and supports the bill.
Racine filed a complaint in April against Steinberg for comparing Bill 21 to ethnic cleansing.
That comment was also heavily criticized by municipal, provincial and federal politicians, forcing Steinberg to postpone the town’s vote on the resolution for almost two months.
The resolution states that Bill 21 violates people’s right to freedom of religion.
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“We believe that the wearing of a kippa, a turban, hijab, cross or other religious symbol is not an impediment to carrying out one’s duties as employees of the state. These symbols do not diminish the wearer, they do not impede the wearer and they are not prejudicial to those with whom the wearer of religious symbols interacts,” Steinberg added.
One councillor, Leon Elfassy, voted to approve the resolution but said that if Bill 21 becomes law, he will comply.
The province is aiming to vote on Bill 21 by June 14.
WATCH: Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg explains what he meant when he compared Quebec’s religious symbols bills to ‘ethnic cleansing’
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