Horwath to force a vote in the legislature on its plan to pass the anti-Islamophobia bill before May
QUEEN’S PARK — Andrea Horwath and the Official Opposition will move a motion Wednesday morning urging the Ford government to respect the call from Muslim communities and pass the Our London Family Act into law before the provincial election.
Horwath’s bill was created in collaboration with the National Council for Canadian Muslims (NCCM), and sets out concrete action to address Islamophobia, including hate crimes against Muslims. The government stopped debate and votes on the bill by prematurely pushing it off to a committee that can edit or stall the bill.
“Our Muslim brothers and sisters in Ontario have been clear: our political leaders must move beyond words to concrete, meaningful action to combat Islamophobia, white supremacy and hate crimes in Ontario,” Horwath said. “It is critical that Ontario listen to Muslim communities and pass this vital legislation before the 2022 provincial election, to do everything possible to ensure that no one in Ontario ever has to fear for their safety while wearing a hijab or while worshipping at a masjid.”
On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the Opposition will move the following motion:
That, in the opinion of this House, the government of Ontario should respect the call of Muslim communities, Londoners and Ontarians for concrete action to address Islamophobia and hate, by committing to and providing a clear timeline and plan to bring Bill 86, Our London Family Act, back from committee and urgently pass it into law before the dissolution of the 42nd Parliament.
The Our London Family Act will take the following concrete actions:
- Require a provincial review of hate crimes and hate-motivated incidents in Ontario in order to reduce their occurrences.
- Create safe zones around religious institutions, which are often the targets of intimidation and hate-motivated demonstrations.
- Provide new tools and strategies for Ontario schools to combat all forms of racism, including Islamophobia.
- Empower of the Speaker to ban protests at Queen’s Park that incite racist, homophobic, transphobic or xenophobic hate.
- Dismantle white supremacist groups by preventing them from registering as societies.
- Establish an Ontario Anti-Racism Advisory and Advocacy Council, to make sure racialized communities have a say on government policies that impact their lives.