Keffiyeh is worn; MPP Sarah Jama has been asked to quit the Ontario legislature

By: 600011 On: Apr 26, 2024, 4:16 PM


Speaker of the House Ted Arnott has asked MPP Sarah Jama to leave the Ontario legislature for wearing the banned Palestinian keffiyeh in Queen's Park. But Jama was not ready to come out of the chamber. Last week Arnott banned the wearing of the keffiyeh, a scarf commonly worn by Arabs and Muslims and a symbol of Palestinian solidarity. He said he was led to see the dress as a political statement.

The Speaker announced that JAMA will not be entitled to vote on matters before the Assembly, participate in any committee proceedings, use the media studio, table notices, petitions and questions for the rest of the day. But the Jama Assembly continued throughout the question period. After that, Arnot took a strong position that Jama should be removed from the assembly, even if by force.

All four of the province's political party leaders, including Premier Doug Ford, have called for the ban to be lifted. Meanwhile, two attempts by NDP Leader Marit Stels to allow members to dress in uniform failed with unanimous consent.

When asked about Jama's expulsion at the press conference, Doug Ford responded that the Speaker is leading the House and that is his position.