Turbaned Sikhs will not be allowed to ride motorbike without a helmet in Ontario

Published: August 19, 2014
Sikh-Ontario

Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne says turban-wearing Sikhs will not be allowed to ride motorbikes without helments. File: A Sikh man drives a motorcycle in the streets of New Delhi. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she won’t allow for turban-wearing Sikhs to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet.

In a letter to the Canadian Sikh Association, she says she recognizes the importance of religious expression, but an exemption to the mandatory helmet law would pose a safety risk.

She says the safety of Ontarians is her top priority and she can’t justify setting that concern aside.

In her letter dated Aug. 14., Wynne says Ontario courts have found that the helmet law doesn’t infringe on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the Ontario Human Rights Code.

But the Canadian Sikh Association says it’s disappointed by Wynne’s decision, saying they were promised legislation to provide the exemption.

The organization says British Columbia, Manitoba and the United Kingdom allow turban-wearing Sikhs to ride without a helmet.


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