Canada’s chief electoral officer stands firm on veiled voters

Canada’s chief electoral officer said he will not use his discretionary powers to change the rules and force veiled women to show their faces in upcoming elections, saying it’s not his job to “juggle” fundamental rights. Marc Mayrand made the comments as he was questioned by members of Parliament before the procedure and house affairs committee Thursday morning.

Mayrand said those powers are only to be used in exceptional circumstances, and he does not consider veiled voting an exceptional circumstance. Asked whether he would use those powers if directed to do so by the committee, Mayrand said he wouldn’t, because it would require him to “offend the act and not uphold the law.”

CBC News, 13 September 2007