Earlier this year Roy spoke with former Liberal MP John Bryden. Bryden was one of ten Liberal MPs invited to a dinner attended by former Prime Minister and arguably the chief architect of Canada’ official multiculturalism policy, Pierre Trudeau. Each MP was permitted to ask P.E.T. one question. Bryden’s question was about multiculturalism having become more about ethnicity for newcomers to Canada, than about being Canadian. Bryden asked Pierre Trudeau if he was satisfied with how multiculturalism had worked out. The table, in Bryden’s words, “went silent.” Pierre Trudeau’s answer, “No, I am not.” The former Liberal MP makes the case that Pierre Elliot Trudeau would today, on the issue of wearing the niqab, while swearing the oath of Canadian citizenship, stand “shoulder to shoulder” with not his son and current Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, but rather Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Does the fact that Zunera Ishaq took the oath of citizenship while wearing a niqab yesterday affect your view of the issue of whether or not a niqab should be permitted to be worn while swearing the oath of Canadian citizenship?
If John Bryden is correct, which of the Trudeau’s do you side with on the niqab issue? Justin or Pierre? Son or father? Remember, France outlawed wearing a niqab in public in 2010. To do so results in significant fines. The European Court of Human Rights last year upheld the French ‘no niqabs in public’ law. There is no appeal permitted.