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Speaker of Ontario legislature stands by keffiyeh ban; Ford, opposition seek reversal



Speaker of Ontario legislature stands by keffiyeh ban; Ford, opposition seek reversal

A keffiyeh is a checkered scarf sometimes worn in Arab cultures that has come to represent solidarity with Palestinians.

Members of provincial parliament typically ask particular permission to put on an merchandise which will break the principles, akin to ribbons for a selected trigger’s consciousness day, and so they do this by looking for unanimous consent of the legislature.

NDP Chief Marit Stiles moved a unanimous consent movement Thursday morning saying the keffiyeh is a culturally vital clothes merchandise in Palestinian, Muslim and Arab communities and must be allowed in the home, however Arnott mentioned he heard a number of individuals say “no.”

The loudest “no” got here from Progressive Conservative backbencher Robin Martin.

“I believe (Arnott’s ruling) is the right choice, in the identical means we are able to’t use other forms of political clothes,” Martin mentioned after query interval.

“We will’t put on T-shirts that say, ‘Free the hostages’ or wrap ourselves in a flag or no matter. We’ve got to comply with the principles of the legislature. In any other case, we politicize your entire debate contained in the legislature and that’s not what it’s about … we use our phrases to steer, not our objects of garments.”

Martin’s place is in distinction to her chief’s, with Premier Doug Ford calling on the Speaker to reverse his choice.

“It actually comes right down to uniting Ontarians and communities,” the premier mentioned Thursday morning at an unrelated press convention. “We see the division proper now that’s happening. It’s not wholesome, and this may simply divide the group much more.”

Stiles mentioned she was upset her movement didn’t cross and pressed the federal government to behave.

“I believe the premier must now guarantee that his caucus does the appropriate factor,” she mentioned.

The difficulty got here to Stiles’ consideration final week when one in all her staffers, who wears a keffiyeh each day, needed to take away it earlier than getting into the constructing.

The Legislative Protecting Service advised the staffer to take away the keffiyeh, she mentioned.

“The keffiyeh is worn by Muslims, Arabs, Palestinians, it’s cultural apparel, identical to so many different issues are,” Stiles mentioned.

“And we reside in a various province, and other people, I believe, have a proper to put on their cultural heritage, their cultural apparel and present their satisfaction of their heritage.”

Ford wants to point out some management to repair the difficulty, mentioned Liberal parliamentary chief John Fraser.

“The premier must say to his home chief, ‘I’m placing ahead a movement,’ and once they put ahead the movement, we’ll all be there to help it,” Fraser mentioned.

“We will’t proceed to debate this, we have now different extra necessary issues to speak about.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed April 18, 2024.

Allison Jones and Liam Casey, The Canadian Press

An NDP movement to permit keffiyehs to be worn within the Ontario legislature has failed because it didn’t obtain unanimous consent after not less than one member voted towards it. Palestinian kids maintain up a big kaffiyeh, a standard Arab headdress, as they take part in a march to commemorate  “Nakba”, which is Arabic for disaster, within the West Financial institution metropolis of Ramallah, Monday, Could 17, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Tara Todras-Whitehill


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