Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Face Covering Banned In Canada While Taking Citizenship Oath
Canada's immigration minister announced Monday a ban on wearing face coverings such as burka and niqab veils when taking a citizenship oath. "Starting today, any individual will have to show his or her face when taking the oath of citizenship," Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told a press conference in Montreal.
"Allowing a group to hide their faces while they are becoming members of our community is counter to Canada's commitment to openness, equality and social cohesion," he explained.
The minister cited complaints from citizenship judges and others who said it was difficult to ensure individuals whose faces were covered were really taking the oath.
Currently at airports, veiled Muslim women may opt to show their face only to a female security screener.
They may also vote in elections without showing their face. However, veils may soon be banned at government workplaces in Quebec, as well as in schools, nurseries and hospitals. The province is considering legislation that would force people to show their face in government-funded institutions or to access public services.