Ontario police force looking to recruit Quebec officers affected by new secularism law
The mayor of Brampton, Ont., hopes to lure police officers and would-be police officers from Quebec to Peel Region in the wake of Quebec’s new secularism law.
In an interview with Global News, Mayor Patrick Brown called Bill 21 “an offence to diversity and multiculturalism” and said his city is hoping to join the fight to stay the Quebec law that will ban those who wear religious symbols from pursuing careers in numerous public sector jobs.
Last week, Brown was part of a unanimous vote at the Peel Police Services Board to invite Quebec residents affected by the new legislation to apply for a career with Peel Regional Police and to advertise in Quebec to promote careers in policing in Peel.
On Wednesday, Brampton city council voted 11-0 in favour of two more motions. One will see Brampton Fire and Emergency Services advertise in Quebec, also promoting career opportunities in the area. The other motion will see the city join the legal challenge against the law initiated by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the National Council of Canadian Muslims.
“I have always viewed Brampton and Peel Region as ground zero for multiculturalism. If we’re not going to stand up for diversity, then who’s going to?” Brown said.
Brown says Peel Region, which includes the cities of Brampton and Mississauga as well as the town of Caledon, will welcome anyone from Quebec who has been turned away from a job in the public sector due to their faith.
The Peel police and Brampton Fire and Emergency Services will also place ads in Quebec, according to Brown.
“If there is an officer who has lost their employment, whether they wear a turban, have a hijab, a cross — for any reason due to their faith — out of our commitment out of freedom to religion, we’re placing an ad that all those people that have been turned away in Quebec apply in Peel and that we’re an inclusive force; we’re an inclusive part of the country and we welcome all,” said Brown.
Vice-chair of the Peel Police Services Board Ron Chatha, who tabled the motion for Peel Regional Police to advertise in Quebec, says the ads have yet to start airing in the province.
“There is some light of hope in the region of Peel for these people (in Quebec),” Chatha said.
He added he is worried about the state of mind of Quebec families involved in the public sector and called the inclusion efforts being made in Peel “Canadian.”
—With files from Global News’ Alessia Simona Maratta
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