Erin O’Toole’s Refusal To Demonize Quebec’s Bill 21 Shows Respect For Democracy

The Conservatives were heavily offside their own base and majority opinion in the country by having previously opposed, and then waffling on the legislation.

Erin O’Toole is being criticized by some groups, including the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the World Sikh Organization of Canada for refusing to oppose Quebec Bill 21.

While the Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP had previously opposed it and criticized it publicly, O’Toole has refused to do so, instead saying he will respect provincial jurisdiction on the legislation.

Bill 21 – while technically focused on setting rules on the wearing of religious symbols among some public sector workers – is widely seen as an effort to ensure that things like Burkas and Niqabs are not worn by public employees, as an effort to protect the values and Western civilization identity of Quebec.

Notably, the legislation is extremely popular in Quebec, with support between 70% and 80%.

Similar legislation polls very well in the rest of Canada, with about 60% to 70% support.

Many Conservatives also support the legislation, meaning the party was previously totally offside with their political base, and missed a huge opportunity to gain more support in Quebec and among people across Canada who support similar ideas.

So, while he is getting a backlash from some groups, O’Toole has made a wise move, and is showing that he respects provincial jurisdiction, and just as importantly respects democracy.

The criticism of the legislation – including by the Conservatives – had often seemed quite elitist, with politicians arrogantly denouncing something that was incredibly popular among many Canadians.

Abandoning that kind of arrogance is essential for the Conservatives to win, and O’Toole is on the right track so far.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube

3 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
yvon monahan

A step in the right direction indeed. As an undecided voter draining the swamp of all the Roxham Rd. invaders would secure my vote.


If public servants wore liberal/NDP/green/or Conservative anti or support symbols on their person while at work, this is wrong, and a judge was chrged here in Canada for wearing a MAGA USA hat in the courtroom, so why should we support wearing
religious dress and symbals at work, but please wear what you wish in your private life.
LOL even nudists wear clothes when they go out but at home even in their own back yards they don’t as I found out. Privacy fences do wonders, its your business, but with no privacy fences free speech will probably kick in.

Mel Schobel

O’Toole is right on by showing respect for Quebec. We need strong leadership and it needs to start from the beginning.


Not only the Majority of Quebecers but also the Majority of Canadians across Canada support Bill 21. This is how Democracy works. Quebec’s Bill 21 should be passed all across Canada. When the Majority of Canadians do not agree with the wearing of Burkas and Niqabs, these items should be Banned across Canada.

Elizabeth Lederhose

You fail to mention O’Tool supporting the separatists proposal to apply the undemocratic bill 101 to Federally regulated businesses in Quebec…. it would require a federal amendment.