Montreal's demerged municipalities decry CAQ's religious neutrality bill
If made law, Bill 21 would ban public workers in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols
Suburban municipalities in the Montreal area are speaking out against the François Legault government's bill designed to enforce religious neutrality of the state.
"The bill does not reflect the values of respect, solidarity, freedom and equality that are shared in our communities," said Beny Masella, mayor of Montreal West and president of the Association of Suburban Municipalities, in a statement.
If made law, Bill 21 would ban public workers in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols. It was tabled last Thursday.
Masella decried that component and asked the provincial government to amend the bill so it excludes municipal employees.
"We believe that neutrality of the state is exercised by the actions of our employees and not by their appearance," Masella said.
He stressed that Montreal has been home to people from around the world who are part of the fabric of the city "for which we are all very proud."
The association represents 15 municipalities on the island of Montreal, with a combined total population of some 243, 000 citizens, according to its website.
They include: Baie D'Urfé, Beaconsfield, Côte-Saint-Luc, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Dorval, Dorval Island, Hampstead, Kirkland, Montreal East, Montreal West, Mount Royal, Pointe-Claire, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Senneville and Westmount.