Values test could include questions on burkini under CAQ government
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, August 29, 2016 12:19PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 12, 2016 5:54PM EDT
Proponents of wearing a burkini could be denied citizenship under a Coalition Avenir Quebec government.
Party leader Francois Legault announced plans to pursue a test for new immigrants that would include questions on gender equality and which could lead to denial of citizenship depending on the answers given.
Legault made the announcement during a press briefing in St. Jerome on Monday, where his party’s caucus has met in advance of the fall parliamentary session.
He said that the test would be aimed at determining if newcomers believe in gender equality. He said proponents of the burkini would probably fail the test and would end up being refused citizenship.
Last week, CAQ critic for secularism Nathalie Roy said she supported banning the burkini, a swimsuit that covers the entire body worn by some Muslim women, though she later said the ban would be difficult to enforce legally.
Several cities in France banned the suit and some women have been fined there for wearing burkinis on the beach, though the ban was overturned by the top French court last week.
Legault is receiving plenty of criticism over his immigration policy.
Francoise Davide of Quebec Solidaire even likened him to Donald Trump – but Legault shrugged off critics, claiming a values test is important for Quebec.
“What we say is that for newcomers, before they get the citizenship, we propose if we have a government of the CAQ, that we have some test and that we test values and we wouldn't accept people who disagree with fundamental values like equality between men and women,” he said.
The location of the caucus meeting is significant. St. Jerome is the former riding of Pierre Karl Peladeau, the PQ leader who resigned from politics in May. A by-election for the riding will be held in the coming months, though no date has yet been announced.
The CAQ is hoping to make a strong showing with in the riding, which was once also held by former CAQ MNA Jacques Duchesneau. The candidate will be St-Hippolyte Mayor Bruno Laroche, who is well-known in the area.
With a report from CTV Montreal