Alberta which has the third highest Sikh population in Canada becomes the 3rd province to allow Sikhs to ride motorcycles without helmets alongside British Columbia and Manitoba.
The Alberta government is granting turban-wearing Sikhs the right to freely express their religion by allowing them to ride a motorcycle without the use of a helmet.
An exemption for drivers or passengers who are over the age of 18 and are bona fide members of the Sikh religion will take effect on April 12, 2018. The Vehicle Equipment Regulation in the Traffic Safety Act is being amended through a Ministerial Order.
“The Sikh community has urged us to grant this exemption in recognition of its civil rights and religious expression. Our government is committed to these principles.” – Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation
“The decision by the Government of Alberta to allow Sikhs to be able to ride their motorcycles without having to remove their turbans, which is an integral part of the Sikh identity, demonstrates a deep respect for the traditions and customs of the Sikh community. This exemption is a testament to the Government of Alberta’s continued commitment to respecting diversity and religious rights of all Albertans.” – Baltej Singh Dhillon, first RCMP officer to wear a turban
“The government should always strive to accommodate free expression, especially when the expression does not harm others who make this choice, nor further restricts the reasonable choices of its citizen. This case is not different in this regard. We have the opportunity to accommodate differences in religious expression and free choice among options, and to model ways to reasonably make these choices.” – Kelly Ernst, PhD, president, Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association.