Recently, a Canadian tribunal overturned the requirement that a woman could not wear the niqab during a ceremony when new Canadians become citizens. The court ruled that it was sufficient that the woman showed her face to the judge in private before the public ceremony and then could participate in the ceremony while wearing her niqab.
Now, the Conservative Party of Canada swears it will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, and if elected will pass a law in parliament banning the wearing of the niqab during the citizenship ceremony during the first 100 days of a new mandate. Likewise, the Bloc Quebecois is running television ads in Quebec demonizing the front-leading New Democratic Party with a graphic of black oil oozing out of a container and pooling into the shape of a niqab. Enough to drive a separatist to shout out "Hostie, Tabarnac" (swear words in Quebec referring to sacraments of the Catholic mass).
Yet, as Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, so eloquently pointed out during the leaders debate in French, "what does a woman wearing the niqab have to do with the economy, climate change, or health care"? Well Elizabeth, if you would permit me to respond to your rhetorical question: nothing, zero, zip, nada, sweet fuck all!!!
Really what it comes down to is two political parties that are trying to avoid a disaster and are appealing to their voting base of old stock Canadians of either English or French heritage, you know the two founding peoples, that just happen to be mildly to overwhelmingly xenophobic.
Their chains are being yanked to bring them to the polls because as it stands now, if many of the party faithful decide to stay home on election day, the Conservatives will not only lose their majority government but will register their worst share of the popular vote since Confederation, and the Bloc stands to be wiped off altogether from the electoral map.
Fortunately, such fear mongering doesn't work with the vast majority of Canadians that have come to accept that Canada is a multicultural nation that respects the rights of each of its citizens regardless of the color of their skin, their gender, their age, their sexual orientation, and yes, their religious beliefs.
Oh Canada, I stand on guard for thee!!!