Manitoba

Manitoba MP comes out in support of Harper's niqab comments

A Conservative Manitoba MP recently came out in support of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's controversial comments on the niqab.

Muslim women 'need to show their face' during citizenship ceremony, says Bergen

Conservative MP Candice Bergen says while she supports the rights of Muslim women to don the niqab, she also believes prospective citizens should be obligated to remove face coverings during citizenship ceremonies. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

A Conservative Manitoba MP recently came out in support of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's controversial comments on the niqab.

Harper told the House of Commons this week the niqab is "rooted in a culture that is anti-woman."

Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Bergen and other Conservative MPs who were present gave Harper a standing ovation.

Bergen echoed Harper’s sentiment when she spoke with CBC Friday, saying newcomers must be willing to show their face during the final citizenship ceremony if they wish to become a Canadian.

"Men, women, regardless of faith, regardless of culture, we want them to do just as they do if they want to step on a plane, just as they do if they want to get a driver's licence, just as they do if they get a passport,” said Bergen. “Show their face publicly as they declare their commitment."

Bergen insisted she supports a woman's right to wear the niqab, just not in the final citizenship ceremony.

“Maybe for some women they feel empowered wearing a niqab and they absolutely have every right to wear that niqab,” said Bergen. “When there are certain things they want to participate in, one of those would be a citizenship ceremony, then they need to show their face.”

While Bergen said she believes Canada is one of the most tolerant, pluralistic countries in the world, she also maintained the niqab is not a symbol of freedom or equality for women.

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