Trudeau demands Hampstead Mayor apologize for ethnic cleansing comment
Last Friday April 5th during a meeting in Cote St. Luc with other politicians and community leaders, Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg voiced his opinion and disapproval with Quebec’s highly controversial Bill 21 – a bill that would forbid public sector employees ‘in position of authority’ from wearing religious symbols at work. The bill, that has been criticized as unconstitutional, called ‘divisive’, ‘an unnecessary piece of legislation that can only lead to societal discrimination’ and that it ‘would infringe on freedom of religious expression’, has been facing growing opposition and protests from many levels of government, the community and beyond.
Steinberg took it to another level at the meeting when he said that ‘Bill 21 would drive people out of Quebec in a form of peaceful ethnic cleansing… this is ethnic cleansing… not with a gun, but with a law’ – causing many to immediately criticize his harsh choice of words and saying he should renounce them. But Steinberg has adamantly refused to do so, saying two of the words he used, ‘ethnic cleansing’ were ‘misunderstood’. And now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several MNA’s are demanding the Mayor apologize for his ‘peaceful ethnic cleansing comments’. In Ottawa today, Trudeau spoke to reporters and said he was opposed to Bill 21, but that ‘Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg’s comments were unacceptable and that the mayor needs to apologize… we don’t need to go to extremes. We can debate the bill without going too far. There are people who are extremely worried by this bill, and I understand them. But we shouldn’t use words like that.’ Mayor Steinberg is expected to give an interview to CTV this evening.