Photo by Mike Roy
The Council of Canadians London chapter took part in a counter-protest this weekend against a group of self-described "freedom fighters" opposed to M-103.
Supporters of the far-right group Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens held so-called 'March For Freedom, Liberty & Justice' protests across the country this weekend. Metro News reports, "The group claims to be fighting for freedom and justice and to stand against Sharia Law [and globalization], but critics say it’s simply an attempt to incite violence against Muslims."
The London chapter has posted on Facebook, "CTV News footage of our action at City Hall yesterday." That report notes, "About 10 people countering the motion attempted to wave their signs while about 40 others did what they could to cut in front."
The London Free Press adds, "The two groups faced off, debating for a while, but the exchange soon became heated with an exchange of taunts and insults. Although there some scuffles, there was no outright violence and no police presence at the gathering. The protest and counter-protest in London was one of many similar incidents that happened in cities across Canada on Saturday including Toronto and Montreal."
Liberal MP Iqra Khalid (Mississauga-Erin Mills) put forward the non-binding Motion 103 that asks the government to:
- recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear,
- request the heritage committee study how the government could develop a government-wide approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia, and
- collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities and present findings within 240 calendar days.
Protests and counter-protests also happened in Regina (where our Regina and Saskatoon chapters were present), Windsor, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Saskatoon and various other cities.
The Council of Canadians began expressing its support for M-103 last month. We support diversity and inclusion - and reject racism and Islamophobia.
The Liberals, NDP and Green Party leader Elizabeth May have all stated they will vote in favour of the motion. Conservative leadership candidates Kellie Leitch and Maxime Bernier have stated they will vote against M-103. Kevin O’Leary, who is believed to be the front-runner to win the Conservative Party leadership convention on May 27, has said that if he had a seat in the House of Commons he would vote against M-103.
The motion is expected to be voted on in the House of Commons in April.