Jagmeet Singh & NDP – Torchbearers For Helmet Exemption in Canada

MPP Jagmeet Singh of the NDP
MPP Jagmeet Singh – Deputy Leader of the NDP, with Andrea Horwath – Leader of the NDP

ONTARIO, Canada—Jagmeet Singh, Deputy Leader of the Ontario province’s New Democratic Party and Andrea Horwath, the party leader, have continued to ardently campaign for a Sikh helmet exemption in Ontario.

Whilst Sikhs are currently allowed to ride without helmets in British Colombia and Manitoba, the province of Ontario has still not made the amendment to it’s laws to grant the exemption. Whilst the issue has made it’s way into the Legislature Assembly in Toronto, the exemption was blocked by the Liberal government, despite 8 years of lobbying. A private member’s bill, initiated by Jagmeet Singh, however, passed it’s first stages in May this year.

Speaking with Sikh24, Horwath and Singh shared that even the Conservative party have begun to support the motion, whilst initially opposing it a few years back.

Surprisingly, the current Liberal Party are the only group out of Canada’s main three political parties that have, to-date, been unsupportive of the exemption.

The bill would insert a subsection into the current Highway Traffic Act, where an exemption to the helmet would apply to those who are a member of the Sikh religion, have unshorn hair, and regularly wear a cloth turban of over 5 meters.

Given the number of Sikh members of parliament within the Liberal government, it is a surprise that they are the only party, holding back helmet exemption by staunchly opposing the bill.

By comparison, the UK government has included an exemption into British law in 1970. The Liberals might take note that there has been no such increase in mortality rates or related safety concerns since it’s inception.



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