Mulcair moves to defuse niqab debate on eve of first French leaders’ debate

Anticipation of Thursday's televised French debate is looming large on the campaign trail today, with the parties jostling for position in advance of the showdown that will likely put NDP Leader Tom Mulcair in the crosshairs.

OTTAWA — Anticipation of Thursday’s televised French debate is looming large on the campaign trail today, with the parties jostling for position in advance of the showdown that will likely put NDP Leader Tom Mulcair in the crosshairs.

Mulcair is moving to pre-empt one line of attack that’s likely to be aimed at him: his refusal to demand that face coverings be banned during citizenship ceremonies.

With the first televised French debate on Thursday, the NDP leader is clarifying his position and urging Quebecers not to give in to the politics of fear, division and exclusion.

Quebec is the NDP’s electoral fortress but it also the province in which public opinion polls suggest banning the niqab is most popular.

And that makes it inevitable that the issue will be raised during the debate.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe, attempting to steal back seats the Bloc lost to the NDP in 2011, has already gone hard after Mulcair’s support for the niqab.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper also favours banning the niqab at citizenship ceremonies but Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Green Leader Elizabeth May are adamantly opposed.

Just Posted

Police back mandatory alcohol screening

New legislation taking effect on Dec. 18 allows alcohol testing of all drivers legally stopped

Manslaughter trial begins for Delburne man involved in 2016 collision

Delburne man is accused of causing a collision with a pickup he was following

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a family left homeless after… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Ellen Page steps up attack on Nova Scotia pulp mill’s effluent pipeline

HALIFAX — Hollywood actor Ellen Page is doubling down on her criticism… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Most Read