No place for the niqab at citizenship ceremonies

There has been much discussion lately surrounding the wearing of the Niqab at Canadian Citizenship ceremonies. The Niqab, worn by some Muslim women, obscures a person’s face, and thus their identity.

I am pleased to see that Prime Minister Harper has taken a strong stance on this issue. Our Conservative Government has appealed a court decision that would allow the wearing of Niqabs while taking the oath of citizenship. We believe that everyone, out of respect for their new home country, must show their face during a public citizenship ceremony.

There are certain instances in Canadian life where a person must be identifiable such as court proceedings, photographs for passports and in matters of public safety. It is important that a person receiving the great honour of Canadian citizenship should also be willing to identify themselves.

Although Canada is a country built on immigration, I believe that all Canadians, including new citizens, have a duty to protect and adopt the values and freedoms that make our country great. The freedoms that we enjoy are what make Canada so attractive to people from countries across the globe.

We live in the best country in the world, and while we must continue to work hard to respect the diversity of all Canadians, including our newest citizens, we must also always strive to uphold our common values, identity and way of life.