Former Progressive Conservative Premier of Newfoundland claims Prime Ministers comments on woman wearing a niqab during citizenship ceremonies borders on being racist.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Staff

October 5th, 2015


The views of political personalities on issues that are critical to the social well being of the country are important and deserve the widest possible audience.  Former Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams speaks out on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s position on the wearing of the niqab during citizenship swearing in ceremonies.

The Gazette believes this country is bigger than the Prime Minister that currently leads us

Former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams saaid in a CBC News story that some of the tactics of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper are borderline racist.

Williams, who led a Progressive Conservative government in Canada’s most easterly province from 2003 to 2010, launched his latest scathing attack against Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada on Sunday during an interview with CBC News.

He used the word racism in reference to the debate over the wearing of the niqab by Muslim women taking part in the oath of citizenship.
Williams said the issue is not worthy of becoming a national issue, but the Conservatives have latched onto it in order to secure votes.

Niqab as fashion

The tolerance for which Canada is respected around the world has been severely damaged by the actions of the Prime Minister over woman wearing a niqab during citizenship swearing in ceremonies.

“He doesn’t care if he isolates the issues of women or if he isolates the issue of minorities, and even crosses, possibly, that racism line,” Williams stated.

Williams accused Harper of breaking a promise on equalization payments, igniting an unusual rift between the two Conservative cousins.

The campaign was hugely successful, with not a single Conservative candidate winning election in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The federal Conservatives remain very unpopular in the province, which is largely a legacy of Williams’s ABC campaign.

Williams left office in late 2010 with his popularity still largely intact, and his views still carry a lot of weight in the province.

Williams is obviously hoping his unfiltered attack on Harper will make a difference in a three-way race between the Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats.

“Over time we’ve seen that this man cannot be trusted. He had no integrity. He’s trying to stifle democracy. There’s no end to what he’s doing,” said Williams.

“He’s a lousy prime minister who’s divisive.”

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

6 comments to Former Progressive Conservative Premier of Newfoundland claims Prime Ministers comments on woman wearing a niqab during citizenship ceremonies borders on being racist.

  • Marie

    What a load of cr@p. If I can’t wear a balaclava into a bank or courtroom, then nobody should be able to wear a niqab. Period.

  • Zaffi

    The best quote to date that I have heard:
    ¨Good to know that women can count on men to ensure their freedom by forcing them to disrobe.” (J. Biglow)
    A close second: ¨A Niqab doesn’t create jobs, balance the budget…” (Thomas Mulcair)

    Canada has already apologised to:
    1)Japanese Canadians for the stripping of property, possessions, separating families from each other and placed in numerous internment camps.
    2)Our First Nations for the horrific abuses in the Residential Schools.

    Will Canada in the future also draft yet another apology for the trampling of women’s civil rights. This time to our Muslim community for disenfranchising women from becoming citizens and thereby barring her the right to vote in a free and democratic society simply over a woman’s wish to wear a piece of cloth in a public and photographed ceremonial event?

    After reviewing the rules for citizenship ceremonies it appears that identity is not the issue after all. It is whether or not the presiding official can see the oath taker’s lips moving as she speaks the oath. Personally I think it would make more sense to hear her speak the oath out loud. Therefore, Miss Ishaq’s suggestion to wear a microphone appears fair and more reliable than watching for someone’s lips to move.

    An interesting tidbit I also learnt was that children under 14 do not take the oath yet are provided with a certificate of citizenship. Makes me wonder what a heyday “Old Stock” Canadians could make out of that one.

  • James

    I agree with Harper 100% on this issue. I do welcome new citizens from foreign countries, but let’s not forget they have chosen to live in Canada, our country, our culture, our ways. I don’t think what Stephen Harper is suggesting is too much to ask. Canadians are too polite, too welcoming, and because of that we are losing our Canadian identity, allowing foreign cultures to walk all over us in our own country. That’s not being racist, that’s just speaking the truth.

    • walter

      James, what exactly is the Canadian identity and what cultures are walking over us?

      • James

        Walter, if you don’t know what our Canadian identity is, then perhaps it’s already too late. Drive through Markham. Drive through Richmond Hill. Drive through Brampton. Have you been to Vancouver recently? New Canadians are taking over, driven from overpopulation and wars in their native lands, imposing their cultures over ours, and we’re letting it happen because we’re too polite to say anything about it. English and French are the two official languages of Canada. How much longer will we be able to say that? No other Country in the world has been as accommodating to immigrants as Canada, yet many who chose to move here do not show Canada the same respect Canada has shown them. This Niqab nonsense is just the latest example of immigrants imposing their culture over ours. It’s a small gesture, that’s all we’re asking. Refusing to remove it for just a few moments during the citizenship swearing in ceremony is disrespectful. If I go to your home and you ask me to remove my shoes, I will, no questions asked. If you come to my home, I expect you to show me the same level of respect. That’s not happening. We are quietly being invaded, allowing other cultures to take over, and in the process losing what made Canada such a desirable place to live in the first place.

  • Frank Rance

    On June 26, 1877 in Quebec, a very special man gave a speech on political liberalism, a man who would soon become one of Canada’s greatest political leaders stated the following. “We have no absolute rights among us. The rights of each man, in our state of society, end precisely at the point where they encroach upon the rights of others”. The man was Wilfred Laurier, a Liberal, and a Canadian Prime Minister.