Once again, an Ontario politician is introducing a bill in the provincial legislature that would allow Sikh motorcyclists to ride without helmets.
This time, it’s MPP Jagmeet Singh (of Bramalee-Gore) who’s introducing the bill — he introduced a similar bill earlier this year, and back in 2013. The idea is simple: Singh, and other members of the provincial government (he’s NDP, but the PCs have backed this in the past) think Sikhs should be allowed to ride motorcycles without helmets, due to religious convictions about their turbans (called a Dastaar).
This sort of exemption has already been OK’d in BC and Manitoba, and other jurisdictions outside Canada’s borders, as seen in the title shot.
Will Singh’s motion pass? A quick spin through the CMG archives reveals Sikhs in Ontario have been lobbying for this since at least 2008, with no success. His press release reads in part: “For over 10 years, the Sikh community has been working towards a legislated exemption for members of the Sikh faith who wear turbans when operating a motorcycle, but the Liberal government has failed to take action …
“There is little justification for this government to continue denying Ontario’s Sikh community the rights they already have in other jurisdictions. Ontario’s New Democrats were the first party in Ontario to recognize the Sikh articles of faith, and as a proud New Democrat, I will continue to work with my colleagues to legislate the protection of all articles of faith.”
Translation: He might not have his way this time around, like the last few times, but it sounds as if he’s going to keep trying until successful.