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Town of Hampstead won't apply 'racist' Quebec charter

12/03/2013 11:39 EST | Updated 02/02/2014 05:59 EST
The movement against the secular charter is mounting as towns and universities in Quebec join the growing number of organizations refusing to implement the proposed ban on religious wear.

At a meeting Monday night, the town council of Hampstead — an on-Island suburb of Montreal — adopted a strongly worded resolution that refuses to recognize Bill 60 as valid law, if it's passed.

Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg said the secular charter goes against fundamental human rights.

"We will not comply with a racist and immoral law," he said.

"In the event that the Quebec government passes this odious Bill, which will force people to choose between their religious beliefs and their jobs, it will not be enforced in Hampstead."

Côte St-Luc residents rally against charter

As Hampstead's city council was adopting its new resolution, several hundred people held a rally at Côte St-Luc city hall.

Côte St-Luc is a historically multicultural suburb on the Island of Montreal.

Mayor Anthony Housefather said the rally was a way to unite the town's Christian and Jewish communities while also giving residents an opportunity to voice their opinions on the charter.

The crowd — which included clergy and local politicians — gathered at city hall to light a Christmas tree and a menorah side by side.

Côte St-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather says Quebecers should be allowed to practise their religions freely, and dress however they want. 

"I wanted to do something because my residents are angry, they're upset. And so this rally gives them a chance to come out and tell the PQ government that we don't agree with your views on the charter," he said. 

"We're all equal Canadians, all equal Quebecers, and certainly in CSL, all equal Côte St-Lucers."

Read the town of Hampstead's full resolution: 

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