Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday October 25, 2016
Steven Blaney kicks off Conservative leadership campaign with proposed niqab ban
Quebec MP Steven Blaney is running for leadership of the Conservative Party, and his first major policy position is a ban on the niqab and a promise to invoke the notwithstanding clause if courts strike down his new measures.
The former minister in the cabinet of Stephen Harper said he will introduce legislation that would forbid the Islamic face-covering while voting and taking the oath of citizenship. He also said that the prohibition would extend to people working in the federal public service.
“We are a country that is built on immigration, but we have to be sure that those new Canadians we welcome are understanding of how we live. We don’t want our country to become like the country they left,” Blaney told reporters Monday. “We fully welcome you, but we want you to respect who we are.”
The measures are necessary, Blaney said, to “ensure the sustainability of our integration model” and to protect women’s rights.
The proposal revives a controversial debate from the last campaign, when Harper himself suggested the niqab should be banned from the public service.
Zunera Ishaq, a Muslim woman, went to court to challenge the government’s ban, and, in the middle of the campaign, the Federal Court of Appeal cleared the way for her to wear the head covering. (Source: CBC News)
Reversed order of pages so my cartoon appears in colour today! pic.twitter.com/yzPv6gcGhJ
— Graeme MacKay (@mackaycartoons) October 25, 2016