Refugees and Citizenship
Published Friday, October 9, 2015 4:18PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 9, 2015 6:15PM EDT
The Tories’ push for a niqab ban at Canadian citizenship ceremonies has been one of the most hotly-debated issues on the campaign trail
- Re-introduce and adopt legislation banning niqabs and other face-coverings at Canadian citizenship ceremonies. The proposed ban has been overturned by the courts, but the Conservatives are appealing, saying such an important oath should be done "openly, proudly, publicly without one's face hidden." Stephen Harper also said that a re-elected Conservative government would consider forbidding federal civil servants from wearing face-covering veils.
- Resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in Canada by September 2016 under “accelerated” processing system. Harper has also said that the country will open its doors to another 10,000 refugees over the next four years.
- Fulfil the government’s commitment to resettle 23,000 Iraqi refugees by the end of 2015.
- Under fire over reports that the Prime Minister’s Office interfered in the selection of refugees from Syria, Harper denied any political involvement and said the goal is to “prioritize the most vulnerable people,” including minority religious and ethnic groups in Syria and Iraq.
- Resettle North Korean refugees stuck in Southeast Asian countries.
Welcome more refugees; withdraw Supreme Court appeal on niqab issue
- Resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2015.
- Increase the number of government-sponsored Syrian refugees by 9,000 annually for the subsequent four years, for a total of 46,000.
- Withdraw an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on the niqab issue. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says he agrees with current rules, but the party would not force a woman to reveal her face during the symbolic portion of the citizenship ceremony. Rather, the NDP would require women only to show their faces in private, so officials could confirm their identity.
Take in 25,000 Syrian refugees by end of year; no appeal on niqab ruling
- Accept 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year, and consider airlifting some of them.
- Would not appeal a recent decision to end a ban on wearing face veils at citizenship ceremonies.
Leader says niqab controversy is a “fake debate” and a distraction
- Party leader Elizabeth May has dismissed concern over face coverings at citizenship ceremonies as a "false debate” and an attempt to distract voters from real election issues.
- May has also criticized Bill C-42, a Conservative law that revokes Canadian citizenship from convicted terrorists, calling it a “slippery slope.”