There can hardly be a more sensitive matter (as we all learned back in 2013 when the Parti Québécois put forward its ill-conceived “Charter of Values” in Quebec) than any government proposing to impose restrictions on the wearing of religious clothing or symbols.
So when Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided to appeal a recent federal court ruling that would allow Muslim women to cover their faces while taking the oath of citizenship, you might have expected his government to be scrupulously cautious and precise in explaining what was bound to be a controversial position.
Based on today’s evidence, you would have been wrong. News that the Conservatives sent out a fundraising email on the topic led to a question from Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland in the House. She focused specifically on how the Tory email mentioned that the government was appealing a judge’s ruling “allowing people to wear the hijab while taking the oath.”