Sep 24, 2015
By Jane Brown
Special attention will be paid by Quebecers to what both NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe have to say during this evening’s first televised French leaders debate.
The New Democrats appear to have maintained much of their momentum in Quebec since a 2011 electoral breakthrough when the party under Jack Layton won nearly 60 of Quebec’s 75 seats in the province and reduced the Bloc to just four.
Gilles Duceppe is back after losing his own seat in the that election.
Pipelines and the banning of niqabs at citizenship ceremonies are expected to be hot button topics tonight in Montreal.
Mulcair says he supports women being required to show their faces at some point during the citizenship process, but not at the citizenship ceremony. The NDP leader says he also understands that many view the niqab as a symbol of the oppression of women.
“But if some of these women are being oppressed, we have to reach out to them, and it’s not by depriving them of their Canadian citizenship and their rights that we can help them,” Mulcair told supporters.
Conservative Leader, Prime Minister Stephen Harper favours banning the niqab at citizenship ceremonies, but Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Green Leader Elizabeth May are adamantly opposed.