Most Canadians want niqab restricted

Most Quebecers and Canadians agree that women wearing the niqab or burqa should not receive government services, hospital care or university instruction, a new Angus Reid poll shows.

Ninety-five per cent of Quebecers support a proposed provincial law barring the face veil from government offices, schools and other publicly funded institutions, says the poll, provided exclusively to The Gazette yesterday.

In the rest of Canada, three out of four people give the thumbs up to Bill 94, tabled Wednesday by the Charest government. The bill would require all public sector employees to have their faces uncovered, as well as any citizen using government services, for example, someone applying for a medicare card or paying her car registration.

Nationally, four out of five Canadians support the bill.

Mario Canseco, vice-president of public affairs for the pollster, said the survey shows an unusually high level of support for a government measure. “It’s very rare to get 80 per cent of Canadians to agree on something,” he said. “With numbers like this, there is not going to be much of a controversy over the legislation in Quebec or anywhere else in the country,” he added.

Montreal Gazette, 27 March 2010

See also “Tories, Liberals back Quebec’s veil ban”, Globe and Mail, 27 March 2010