03.12.2015 06:32 AM

I don’t recall anyone in caucus objecting to what he said about the niqab

The last elected Liberal leader, that is.


Personally, I have always been a Liberal who opposed the anti-niqab hysteria, as  here.

I sure don’t recall many other Liberals saying the same thing, at the time. And I particularly don’t remember any member of caucus – say, the one from Papineau – echoing my view, either.




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    e.a.f. says:

    the P.M. ought to forget about commenting on how Canadian women dress and spend more time on finding out who murdered 1,200 Canadian First Nations women.

    The P.M. ought to stop yapping about terrorists in some foreign land and start finding out who murdered 1,200 Canadian First Nations women. Right now we have “terrorists” in Canada and they aren’t jihadist. They are the people who murdered 1,200 Canadian First Nations women. Harper contributes to this terror by refusing to do anything about it. One could say Harper is an enabler of terrorism.

    The P.M. ought to stop spending money fighting in the middle east and spend the money on a police unit to find out who murdered 1,200 First Nations women right here in Canada.

    If you figure most of the murderers committed more than one murder, it works out to anywhere from 400 to 800 murderers walking around Canada scot free. That is not a comforting thought to many. Its down right terrorizing.

    The P.M. wants to send people to jail for longer time periods for murder. Well how about he first catch the murderers who murdered 1,200 Canadian First Nations women. The P.M. wants longer sentences for cop killers. Well I want to know who murdered 1,200 of my sisters. I would like them to spend at least a few years in jail. Cop killers usually don’t get out too soon anyhow, under current laws.

    the parallels between the rape and murder of Ms. Singh in India, India’s Daughter, and the murder of 1,200 Canadian First Nations women are interesting and have similar root causes. The big difference is India caught the murderers. In Canada we are still waiting for any of them to be caught. The P.M. of this country says he doesn’t want to call an inquiry. He also doesn’t want to spend on extra nickel finding out who murdered all these women.

    The P.M. wants to politize the parole system so only Cabinet can release people on parole. Great, now a donation to a cabinet minister’s re election campaign can get some one out of jail. Its worked well in the U.S.A. I guess harper thinks it will work in Canada as a method of fund raising for his cons.

    of course what can we expect from a political party which has:
    1 senator with 31 criminal charges–Duffy
    1 senator about to be charged–Wallin
    1 senator still under investiagion–Brazeau
    1 political operative in jail–Paul Sona
    1 former M.P. guilty–Del Mastro
    1 appointee to the Board of CISIS, charged with a $22 M fraud, who ran and was brought back in handcuffs–Arthur Porter.
    Could we really trust a bunch like that to have anything to say about who gets out of jail.

    If people think Harper will stop at targeting Muslim women who wear a niqab or hijab. Think again. He may want to appeal to the Jewish community, but trust me, he will turn on you at a later date. Can Sikhs really count on being able to continue to wear their turbans in the RCMP or Parliament? When a P.M. attacks one group, he will go for the others later. Did some one forget that line about first them came for the Jews, then they came for the union leaders, etc.

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      doconnor says:

      Brazeau actually faces a whole bunch of charges, even without anything from the Senate expense investigation so far.

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      Marion I. says:

      I think the Conservative position on the murdered and missing aboriginal women is quite clear. They say it is a ‘police matter’ and that most of the women knew the aboriginal men who killed them. Sad to say and what do you do with that?

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      Lyn says:

      e.a.f.: I understand that B.C. and another province did a investigation into the murdered Canadian First Nation women and men……..don’t leave out the men! They found out the murdered natives all either knew their murders or were related to them. Why are we going to spend billions on this, the provinces can do their own and like I said some have. More men murdered by the way!

      The Canadian First Nation’s want you out of their lives only when it seem really convenient…….now they want us the tax payer to support this…….NO!

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        Marion I. says:

        Yes, the aboriginal chiefs should take more responsibility about the actions of aboriginal men instead of politicizing this terrible situation. Canadians will quietly reject any Canadian politician who sides with the chiefs for a costly inquiry that will only confirm what is already known. I, and I believe most Canadians are turned off by the demands of the chiefs, their followers and opposition parties for more inquiries. If Trudeau and Mulcair think they can rally the bleeding hearts to their side, they will lose.

        Sadly, I believe this issue will never be solved or resolved in the near future. It’s only being used as a political football now.

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          e.a.f. says:

          We don’t know who killed the 1,200 First nations women because they never arrested anyone. So we can’t say if it was first nations men who murdered them, European descent men or the man on the moon.

          The issue is 1,200 First Nations women have been murdered and we don’t know who did it. That means there are murderers walking around scot free. They need to be arrested, and brought before the courts. Lets not get side tracked to who did it, until we know who did it. If people “think” First nations men did it, where is the proof? Why were they not arrested? There has been no justice for these 1,200 murdered women. Harper doesn’t care and apparently neither do a lot of other Canadians. They’d just like to spread some blame around. Wait until its your family member and the murderer says, gee I thought it was o.k. to kill her. she looked First Nations.

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    sezme says:

    Whether or not Liberals objected to Charest’s and Ignatieff’s learned pandering, the fact remains that Ignatieff was a doofus.

    Does it make the caucus hypocrites? Perhaps, but I’m not as bothered by that as by those politicians whose opinions haven’t evolved on this “issue” in the last five years. They’re mostly just followers in any case, and good for Trudeau for leading them in the right direction.

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    MississaugaPeter says:

    Religious clothing or not, the niqab and burqa, to me, are symbols of the oppression of women.

    Maybe it is because not one of my devout Muslim friend’s family members wear niqabs or burqas (although they do hijabs).

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      GFMD says:

      Isn’t it amazing how people in this country get to practice their religion and give it meaning for themselves, rather than (until receontly) having it dictated to them by officious bureaucrats like Jason kenney or random internet commentators.

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      sezme says:

      Yeah, and I can find plenty of people on the Internet who believe that makeup is a form of oppression for women. Some days, I believe that wearing pants is a form of oppression. My employer disagrees, however.

      It is not your or my place to tell another person that the clothing she’s most comfortable in is illegal because Oppression. That, in and of itself, denies her intelligence and free will. She’s in Canada. If she wants to abandon the niquab, she can, and if she doesn’t, she doesn’t have to because freedom. (It’s what we fight for.)

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      sezme says:

      Actually, Mississauga Peter, I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment, “Maybe it is because not one of my devout Muslim friend’s family members wear niqabs or burqas (although they do hijabs).”

      Because you don’t know any niqab wearers personally, I think you find it easy to generalize. We should all get to know each other better before passing judgment.

      Tribalism is at the root of so many conflicts around the world and it goes deep into the human psyche, because when we lived in small groups of hunter-gatherers it was a matter of life and death. If you saw someone in your tribal area who you didn’t recognize wearing things that marked him as not being a member of your tribe, chances were that he was up to no good, so you were justified in treating him with a degree of hostility.

      But times have changed since then and we now live in large cities with diverse populations. Still this tribalistic behaviour persists, and every new group must overcome hurdles before they are accepted as part of our “inclusive” tribe. They look different, speak different, act different, cook different, smell different, etc. But their ultimate inclusion has made our society that much richer. And yet it doesn’t take much to make us anxious: men wearing long hair, punks with mohawks, youngsters who wear their pants too low, women who cover their faces. This isn’t how we do things here!!! Until we do.

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    DonW says:

    Your quote nailed it: “As James Madison, the fourth (US) president, put it: “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.” Anti-hysteria indeed. Good on you for resisting.

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    Marion I. says:

    Ignatieff was also on board with Bush’s invasion of Iraq, while our PM Chretien stood before the UN and took a principled stance of no military regime change to oust Saddam Hussein, together with the French PM. There were other ways to stop Saddam, and even the Saudis advised against military action because it would create problems in the future!

    Ignatieff was an American Republican dressed in Liberal drag in Canada. Canadian peasants told Imperial Iggy what they thought of him and his dysfunctional Liberal Party!

    I would have voted for a PM Marc Garneau who is an intelligent man of principle, but certainly not a PM Justin. I’m not that desperate!

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    Scotian says:

    The only good thing I could say about Ignatief during the last election cycle was that he was better and less dangerous/destructive to Canada and Canadian values than Harper. Not, in my view, a high bar to even crawl over, let alone leap over. This man had no business waltzing back to Canada the way he did expecting to led a party and then country in such a short time frame, and those that thought he was a good idea/choice also were in my view idiots. I also blame him for the furthering divisiveness within the Libs that undercut Dion’s leadership, in point of fact I blame him as much as Layton for the current House.

    I would make this much of a point though, given how under fire the Libs were at point it is understandable why the caucus chose to stay united behind a leader making policy that all may not have agreed with. I’m not saying it is excusable, I’m not trying to whitewash it, I am saying though it is fairly easy to understand why caucus solidarity at that point in time may have been seen as more important than continuing public disagreements, which given how Ignaitef and his allies used such divisions to gain that position more than a little hypocritical and distasteful (to say the least).

    In any event the level of wedge xenophobic politics being played nationally now makes what we saw in 2010 pale in comparison, especially when you see it coming from the mouth of a sitting PM and not just fringe members of a caucus. This Niqab business is one of the more disgusting things I’ve seen in a decade now of fairly disgusting to me actions by this government.

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    ottlib says:

    Mr. Trudeau probably did not publicly object to Mr. Ignatieff’s position because it is generally a no-no for a caucus member to contradict their leader.

    You were once well on the inside Mr. Kinsella and I believe that if a very prominent member of Mr. Chretien’s caucus would have spoken out against a position or a policy put forward by him you would probably have been rather unhappy. Especially if such statements were uttered when the party was on an election footing, a constant state for all parties during Mr. Ignatieff’s tenure as leader of the Liberal Party.

    Mr. Trudeau might have objected to Mr. Ignatieff’s position, we really do not know, but if he did he probably did it in private because that is generally how it works in our political system.

    Mr. Ignatieff is no longer leader of the Liberals and Mr. Trudeau is so he is now more free to express himself on this issue.

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      CSM says:

      Ottlib, you are entirely correct. When we hear our political leaders speak, we must automatically realize that what they say is focused entirely on a result – winning an election. It need not, and often will not, represent their actual beliefs.

      Of course, this applies to all political leaders in this age of gotcha journalism and indelible internet history. The amount of time spent trying to spin the words of the party leaders continues to grow. I am sure that Warren, an insightful, intelligent man, understands the difference between head coverings, beards, turbans and covering ones face. I am sure that he bridles when having to intimate that anyone who does not agree with the position taken today is inherently racist. But spin he must and spin he does.

      There are those of us, progressive, open and tolerant, who understand that a VERY SMALL percentage of Muslim women in Canada wear a niqb or a burka. We do not assume that for these women it is forced upon them. The accept that some or all of these women wish to wear those coverings. We also consider that, as Canadians, seeing a person’s face is a deep part of our culture. It offends us on multiple levels. Yet we bite our tongues and keep quiet, in fear of offending or being considered bigoted or racist. Yet, in weighing the value we assign to allowing the wearing of face coverings at all times against our own values, we believe that openness has more value.

      Ironic that many people who have worked so hard to make Canada the welcoming place it is to those of diverse and different cultures are lambasted and insulted when they will not give on this issue.

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    CSM says:

    As was explained to me by a senior party leader, “New Leader, New Party.”

    I did not realize that when a new leader is selected, the Party’s metaphorical hymen grows back and it is revirginated.

    My error.

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