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Conservatives planning to ban niqabs at citizenship ceremonies

Posted in Canada, Talking Politics


Published on June 12, 2015 with No Comments

With just days to go before Parliament rises for the summer, Harper government will table a bill to ban face coverings at citizenship ceremonies, and the multiculturalism minister is hinting at more measures on the way. The move comes on the heels of the Quebec Liberals’ bill to ban veils at provincial government offices.
“We broadly support Quebec’s legislation regarding the uncovering of faces for giving and receiving public services,” Multiculturalism Minister Tim Uppal told reporters after on Parliament Hill.
“Our government will be moving forward in the coming days with legislation with respect to the face coverings at citizenship ceremonies, and we will consider what other measures may be necessary,” the minister said.Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel, who represents a Quebec riding, told reporters the Conservative government is analyzing other possible measures in the future, but acknowledged that the federal bill would not go as far as Quebec’s for the time being.
When asked if this proposal was Islamophobic, Uppal said absolutely not.”We’ve been very clear regarding citizenship ceremonies, at a time when people are pledging allegiance to this country, when they’re joining the Canadian family, we find that Canadians expect that anyone joining the Canadian family at that time would have their face uncovered,” he said.
“I believe, and I think most Canadians believe, that it is offensive that someone would hide their identify at the very moment where they are committing to join the Canadian family,”Prime Minister Harper had said in February. “This is a society that is transparent, open and where people are equal.”


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