Niqabs, burkas must be removed during citizenship ceremonies: Jason Kenney
New Canadians will now have to show their faces when swearing the oath of citizenship, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced Monday in Montreal.
The new rule, which takes effect immediately, means Muslim women will now have to remove their niqabs, burkas and other veils before crossing that final hurdle toward becoming a Canadian citizen.
Kenney said the move follows complaints from citizenship judges, MPs and others who’ve participated in citizenship ceremonies who have argued it’s hard to tell whether veiled individuals are actually reciting the oath.
“Requiring that all candidates show their faces while reciting the oath allows judges, and everyone present to share in the ceremony, to ensure that all citizenship candidates are, in fact, taking the oath as required by law,” he said.
“This is not simply a practical measure. It is a matter of deep principle that goes to the heart of our identity and our values of openness and equality.”