Toronto council backs fight against Quebec’s Bill 21, calling it ‘contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians’
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Toronto council has voted to deny permits to the Quebec City mosque in Oakville. (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Nathan McFadden/Toronto Star)
The city says it’s considering several options including revoking the city’s permits for the proposed location of the Quebec City mosque.
Toronto was given a year to consider the issue in two letters sent by city solicitor Elizabeth Ritchie on Monday. The city council has given Toronto three months to respond before the council votes to allow the mosque to open, if it can prove that it would not violate Canadian values.
Ritchie has called the proposal “contrary to the values of Torontonians and Canadians and will have an adverse impact on the city,” and said the location of a mosque on the grounds of a high school “would not be appropriate.”
The issue has divided Toronto and the province, with Quebec saying it has accepted the city’s reasoning and supports the mosque, while the province has said that the mosque’s application for a permit violated French principles and is dangerous for students, teachers and security personnel.
The Quebec City mosque was granted conditional approval this spring after winning its permit appeal in April. Its application was based on four conditions the community had said would be difficult to meet, but Ritchie said the city was prepared to take immediate action to stop the proposed mosque if the community failed to meet these conditions.
Last week, Toronto’s former councillor and mayoral candidate John Tory called on the city government to revoke permits to build a mosque near Canada’s largest city to be “out of step with the values and the principles of this city and Quebec.”
The French-language mosque’s organizers have said they are committed to building the mosque and will not sell properties to fund the project.
The city has taken the mosque’s application under a “special