Toronto council backs fight against Quebec’s Bill 21, calling it ‘contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians’
The Canadian Press Published Thursday, July 8, 2019 5:24PM EDT Last Updated Sunday, July 11, 2019 7:23AM EDT Last Updated Monday, June 26, 2020 11:56AM EDT OTTAWA — The Canadian House of Commons passed a motion Wednesday calling for a national referendum on Quebec’s controversial Bill 21.
More than 300 MPs voted in favour.
The vote followed a debate Friday in which Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer criticized the federal Liberals and Quebec Premier François Legault for their handling of the bill.
In a statement, Scheer said the Liberal government should have stood up against the bill sooner by imposing it for now, rather than letting it pass in the spring, when it seemed likely to pass without any debate.
More than 300 of the 338 MPs in the House of Commons voted in favour of the motion.
Opposition MPs, however, voted against the motion, saying it would send a signal to Quebec that Parliament is willing to pass acts of discrimination against its institutions.
“We’re not there when they need us,” said NDP MP Romeo Saganash, who spoke in favour of the motion. “We’re there when people are in distress.”
Conservative Liberal MP Catherine McKenna said the Conservatives took the step of calling for a referendum to highlight the “disturbing” actions of the Quebec government.
“Quebecers are right to have a say on this important issue,” McKenna told reporters.
The Liberal government pushed the bill through the Senate unanimously this spring, making it law.
The motion passed Wednesday is a compromise between the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois that would see the country vote on a question about whether Quebec is adopting the rest of the country’s law. The Bloc’s leader, Yves-Francois