ATU Canada Joins Legal Fight Against Discriminatory Bill 21

TORONTO – ATU Canada announced today that they will contribute $10,000 towards the legal battle against the discriminatory Quebec piece of legislation, Bill 21, that prohibits people who work in certain jobs deemed to be positions of authority in the public sector to wear religious garb. Until recently, the burden of the legal fees were being covered by the National Council of Canadian Muslims, the World Sikh Organization and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the three organizations that brought the legal challenge forward. Municipalities across the country have contributed towards the legal challenge but ATU Canada National President, John Di Nino argues that unions from coast to coast should follow suit.

“Our union and the labour movement are committed to values of social equity, human dignity, anti-racism and solidarity so naturally contributing to this legal fight is totally aligned with our values and is the right thing to do.” Said John Di Nino. “This is a fight that all of labour across the country should join into.”

The Bill, initially brought into law in 2019 was challenged earlier in 2020 but was finally upheld earlier this past May by the Quebec Superior Court, exempting Member of the National Assembly and those working in English language schoolboards. The Court also recognized the disproportionate effect the Bill has on Muslim women, excluding them from full participation in public institutions and forcing them to chose between their job and religious freedoms.

“We join not only those across the country who oppose this Bill but also stand in solidarity with the many, many Quebecers who oppose it as well.” Said Di Nino. “This is about choosing what side of history we want to be on – and we’re choosing the right side.”


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