Montreal counterpunches, passes its own take on secular charter
Published Tuesday, August 27, 2013 9:55PM EDT
Montreal city council unanimously passed a motion Tuesday intended to reflect the city’s appreciation of diversity when it comes to the issue of secularism.
The motion forwarded by Cote des Neiges - NDG Borough Mayor Lionel Perez was in response to the Values Charter, an upcoming provincial bill that - if passed - would regulate certain religious symbols.
But one councillor is convinced that not everybody knew exactly what they were supporting.
“We all voted in favour of something but I think we all left the room thinking it was something different. I believe the motion was not very clear,” said veteran west end city councillor Marvin Rotrand.
Rotrand says he tried to clarify the issue but the wording of the motion is open to interpretation.
“There's a danger how we're all going to spin this afterwards but I was trying to be very adamant in council that you vote in favour of this if you believe in Montreal values of tolerance peace cooperation, and just good neighbourliness,” he said.
The council motion is simply an expression and it has no legal consequences.
But it's still a step forward, according to kippa-wearing Perez, 43, who is a lawyer and entrepreneur by profession and who was first elected to council in 2009.
"We clearly affirmed a desire that any secularism is an inclusive secularism, one that's able to bring together all Montrealers, regardless of their convictions or their orgins,” said Lionel Perez.