Cree NDP candidate Saganash entangled in niqab contoversy

first_imgAPTN National News OTTAWA—Cree NDP candidate Romeo Saganash has become entangled in the Quebec controversy over the niqab that has spilled into the ongoing federal election.Saganash was recorded during a recent debate in his northern Quebec riding stating he believed the niqab was oppressive to women. Saganash said that much like French settlers adopted some Indigenous practices after contact, newcomers should also adopt Canadian ways, according to a recording of the comments posted by Radio-Canada.Saganash’s statement was immediately interpreted as being at odds with NDP leader Tom Mulcair’s position on allowing women to wear the niqab during public citizenship ceremonies.Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau are both against banning the use of the niqab during the ceremonies.Saganash could not be reached for comment.While the debate over the niqab and so-called reasonable accommodation has raged for in Quebec for nearly a decade, Conservative leader Stephen Harper pounced on it to hold or grow support in Quebec and use it as a wedge issue in the rest of Canada.The Conservatives are currently trying to force women who wear niqabs to remove the face covering during citizenship ceremonies. The party has gone to the Supreme Court to overturn a Federal Court of Appeal ruling that struck down the Harper government’s ban on niqab-wearing during the public swearing-in ceremony.A niqab covers a woman’s face except for a slit at eye-level. The covering is used by conservative Muslim [email protected]@APTNNewslast_img

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