Coun. Zac de Vries has filed a notice of motion, whose thrust opposes Bill 21, controversial Quebec’s secularism law. (Submitted/Black Press File)

Saanich councillor wants the municipality to support opponents of Quebec’s secularism bill

Councillors will debate notice of motion from Coun. Zac de Vries on Aug. 12

Saanich council will weigh in on a controversial bill in Quebec.

Coun. Zac de Vries has filed a notice of motion that opposes Bill 21, a law that formally bans public officials such as judges, police officers, teachers and other professions from wearing religious items like hijabs, turbans, kippas, and crucifixes while on duty.

The bill has drawn public criticism from many quarters of Canadian society and politics, as well as a formal legal challenge from the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) and Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA).

De Vries’ motion calls on Saanich to support “in principle” these groups in their legal challenge through letters.

The motion’s preamble says among other points that Saanich “stands up for diversity and Canadian multiculturalism and [council] bears a responsibility to stand up in defence of the Canadian multicultural mosaic.”

The motion’s preamble also notes that the “District of Saanich consists of a diverse community, many of whom wear religious symbols including the cross, Kippa, turbans, hijabs, Kippa, the cross and many others.”

It further says that the “fundamental right of religious freedom is enshrined by Canadian constitutional protections” and Saanich “stands firmly with those who support religious freedom.”

RELATED: Saanich amends anti-nuclear weapons policy

It is not unusual for council to comment on issues beyond its jurisdiction, but the practice has also received criticism. Former councillor Leif Wergeland, for example, often questioned Saanich’s decision to comment on national or international issues.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich looks to help restaurants increase capacity with outdoor seating

District working to ensure restaurants can make the most of summer weather, mayor says

Colwood art centre shuts its doors indefinitely

Board members look for new location when feasible, continue online

Greater Victoria guide dog walk turns to virtual physical challenge

Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides is May 31 with an online twist

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

BC Ferries losing up to $1.5 million each day as pandemic tanks ridership

The company does not qualify for the wage subsidy

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors June 1

All national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas have been closed for weeks

JK Rowling publishes first chapters of new story online

Book will be a fairy tale for kids and benefit those particularly affected by the pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read