Tories follows Quebec’s lead, promising ban on veils at citizenship ceremonies

OTTAWA — The Harper government is planing to bring in legislation to ban face coverings at citizenship ceremonies.

Tim Uppal, the minister of state for multiculturalism, says the government supports Quebec legislation that would require people to have their faces uncovered when giving or receiving government services.

The Alberta MP says Canadians expect that people who are taking the oath at citizenship ceremonies should do so without covering their faces.

Earlier this year, the Federal Court ruled against a government policy requiring people to remove face coverings when taking the citizenship oath.

At the time, Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised an appeal.

Uppal is saying the government will now set that policy in law.

“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,” Uppal said Wednesday.

He also welcomed the Quebec legislation.

“We broadly support Quebec’s legislation regarding the uncovering of faces for giving and receiving public services.”

Most Canadians would agree, he added, echoing Harper’s argument against face coverings at 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,” Uppal said.

Harper has called the facial coverings worn by some Muslim women the product of a culture that is “anti-women.”

The Canadian Press

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