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Liberal MPP Michael Coteau speaking on November 7 about his motion to affirm religious freedoms in Ontario in response to Quebec's Bill 21. Liberal MPP Michael Coteau speaking on November 7 about his motion to affirm religious freedoms in Ontario in response to Quebec's Bill 21. Michael Coteau MPP Facebook
08
November
2019

Ontario Legislature Passes MPP Michael Coteau’s Motion to Affirm Religious Freedoms in Response to Quebec’s Bill 21

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[On November 7, 2019] The Ontario Legislature passed a motion from Michael Coteau, Liberal MPP for Don Valley East, affirming the province’s support of religious diversity in response to Quebec’s Bill 21.

“I am pleased that all parties could come together to affirm that Ontario is a place that values diversity and stands united in support of our rights and freedoms,” said Coteau.

Coteau’s motion stated, “Ontario and its government shall oppose any law that would seek to restrict or limit the religious freedoms of our citizens; and, that Ontario’s Legislature should affirm that we value our diversity and assert that we shall promote and protect free expression and the rights of religious minorities, consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

“As the former Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, I believe a critical duty of the Members of our Legislature is to recognize, embrace, promote and protect the rights of all Ontarians guaranteed under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and I am very gratified that occurred today,” said Coteau.

“Since the spring, I have spoken out about Bill 21, and today we were able to show, with solidarity and strength, a clear message to Ontarians, and to all Canadians, that this province celebrates and stands together with all our people in support of our diversity, and in defence of our rights and freedoms,” Coteau concluded.

Further Reading:

Ontario MPPs pass Coteau's motion affirming religious freedoms in response to Quebec's Bill 21 (CBC)

Ontario legislators stand against Quebec's Bill 21 (CTV News Toronto)

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Michael Coteau was elected in 2011 as the MPP for Don Valley East. He currently serves as Critic for Infrastructure, Energy, Labour, Economic Development, Job Creation & Trade and was formerly Minister of Children and Youth Services, as well as Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism. Previously, he was Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, as well as Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, and before that, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Prior to entering the provincial government, Michael was elected as a school board trustee for the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in 2003, 2006 and 2010. As a trustee, Michael advocated for student nutrition, community use of space and the use of educational technology. He initiated the ‘Community Use of Schools’ motion that drastically cut user fees and made schools more accessible to groups that offer programs for children. He helped introduce nutritional changes in schools that supported healthy food programs and increased awareness of student hunger.

Michael worked as an ESL instructor and curriculum developer before becoming a community organizer for a United Way agency in Scarborough. He was also the Marketing Manager for ABC Life Literacy, where he was responsible for the organizing of the Family Literacy Day across Canada, and was Executive Director of Alpha Plus, a national literacy organization mandated to support adult education through the use of technology.

Michael grew up in Don Valley East and attended Don Mills Middle School and Victoria Park Collegiate Institute. He holds degrees from Carleton University in both Political Science and Canadian History. He and his wife Lori live in Toronto with their two daughters, Maren and Myla.

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