Niqabs and Quebec separation highlight latest leaders’ debate

Harper fired back by saying he will never tell his young daughter a women should cover her face only because she’s a woman.


“I’m going to continue to believe in those rights”.

When the topic was the niqab she said loud and clear that it was a distraction, which then encouraged Trudeau and Mulcair to do the same. “It’s critical that he be gone before the Paris negotiations (this December on climate change) for the health of those negotiations”. “What is the impact of the niqab for the unemployed?” said May.

OTTAWA, Sept 24 Canada’s two main opposition leaders accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper in an election debate on Thursday of trying to win votes by pushing a ban on Muslim women’s face coverings during citizenship ceremonies.

The issue first surfaced during a discussion on military missions in Syria in Iraq at Thursday’s French-language debate, when Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe asked Harper to explain why Canada is selling military vehicles to Saudi Arabia. “We have a plan to relaunch the economy, to invest in families, that’s what we want to talk about”. Inside sat a piece of paper bearing the word “tax hikes”.

Mulcair: “Because these companies need infrastructure like roads and bridges, they must start to pay their fair share in taxes”.

Pearson backed one of the most audacious water diversion schemes ever proposed – a United States Army Corps of Engineers plan to divert and dam water from the Yukon, Laird and Peace River systems in Canada’s north to create an 800-kilometre-long reservoir.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people that are fleeing a country because they’re faced with dealing with the violence and brutality, and we want to partner with the other coalition countries to ensure that these people are supported, and that’s the message”.

Trudeau: “The Liberal party supports this because we understand to what it’s important to protect the most vulnerable, but also respect the rights and liberties of all“.

Mulcair: “It’s true it’s a delicate case, but nothing stops the federal government from taking action, they are the ones responsible for the Criminal Code”.

But any votes the Liberals or Bloc grab from the New Democrats in Quebec help the overall Tory campaign, and Harper appeared content during much of the mash-up to let his rivals attack each other.

Harper’s Conservatives, locked in a tight race with the New Democrats and the Liberals ahead of an October 19 election, say people wishing to become Canadians must show their faces.

“To have Tom Mulcair walk into the Senate and say, ‘Hmm, who should I get as Speaker?’ I’m not sure I’d have very positive thoughts about that sort of thing”.

Mulcair: “That little boy had a name”. A contract that any one of our allies would have signed.

Harper, noting that both parties opposed the government’s decision to extend income-splitting to all Canadian couples with children under 18, responded: “You have spoken against income-splitting philosophically … there is no reason pensioners should believe …” before he was cut off by the debate moderator.

“You’re on the tape, Mr. Mulcair!”

“I was flabbergasted to hear Mr. Trudeau say he didn’t trust Quebecers with the normal rules of democracy”, he said.

Trudeau: “I’ve said the same thing in French and in English”. Also, that he was the same debater in English and in French, countering some recent criticism.

Now the NDP does have a thoughtful platform that is attractive to many voters but for a potential prime minster of Canada to promise to tear up a federal law and ignore the highest court in the land is wrong and unsafe.

“It’s spectacularly false”, Mulcair said in response to the allegation.

“We’re told it’s not a real debate, that we should move on to something else”, Duceppe said of the niqab in a luncheon speech.


Quebec came within one percentage point of splitting in a 1995 referendum but the Supreme Court subsequently stated that secession would require a “clear majority”.