'Values charter' is not for Ontario, MPP says
Moves symbolic motion that would block any bill that curtails religious freedom
A Liberal MPP tabled a symbolic motion Tuesday today that calls on the Ontario legislature to oppose any bill that would restrict or prohibit freedom of expression and religion in public places.
- Charter of Quebec values would ban religious symbols for civil servants
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Monte Kwinter's motion comes as the Parti Quebecois government in Quebec released details of its so-called "values charter."
If adopted by the Quebec legislature, restrictions on religious clothing and symbols would apply to every public servant including judges, police, public daycare workers, teachers and hospital workers.
Kwinter, who is Jewish, says he's spoken to many people in the community who are concerned about the proposed charter.
"We just want to reassure the people living in Ontario that this is not what the province of Ontario is going to do, and to really emphasize that we value their diversity, we value their culture, and we're supportive of it," Kwinter said.
There are many ex-Quebecers who moved to Ontario 30 years ago amid sovereigntist turmoil in that province, he said.
People from all kinds of religious and cultural backgrounds who came to Canada and settled in Ontario "treasure freedom of expression," Kwinter added.
Polls suggest the proposed charter is popular in Quebec, however.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has said the inclusive nature of Canadian society is worth preserving and said she would oppose anything that would attack that.
Kwinter's motion is expected to be heard in the legislature on Sept. 19.
He said the opposition parties will have an opportunity to speak to it and hopes it will receive all-party support.