Poilievre pitches to new immigrants, as Brown attacks him over 2015 niqab ban bill

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OTTAWA — Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and high-profile Conservative Pierre Poilievre spent Monday battling over a seven-year-old election promise to ban face coverings throughout citizenship ceremonies – an indication of what may very well be the makings of a tense rivalry between candidates within the Tory management race.

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Brown, who launched his bid on Sunday, blasted longtime Ottawa-area MP Poilievre over his actions again in 2015 when the occasion promised to create a “barbaric cultural practices” tip line and require folks’s faces to be seen throughout citizenship oaths.

The assault got here as Poilievre spent the previous few days assembly with cultural neighborhood leaders within the Larger Toronto Space and promising to chop pink tape for immigrants desirous to entry the required licences they should work in regulated industries. Amongst these he met with had been members of the Armenian, Muslim and Pakistani communities as properly among the occasion’s candidates from the realm.

No matter who’s chosen as chief Sept. 10, Conservatives know they need to make inroads with immigrants and racialized Canadians in the event that they hope to select up seats within the area in addition to different main cities and suburbs, thought of key to defeating three-term Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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Poilievre pledged Monday to revive related packages that had been in place underneath the final Conservative chief who did properly in communities of seen minorities: former prime minister Stephen Harper, not less than previous to 2015.

He promised to incentivize provinces to require occupational licensing our bodies to resolve on an immigrant’s utility inside 60 days of receiving their paperwork, quite than forcing them to attend for months.

As properly, Poilievre pitched providing small loans to immigrants who would possibly must take additional programs to achieve an expert or commerce licence to work of their respective area.

As Poilievre made these pledges, Brown, who’s positioning himself because the candidate who stands for non secular freedoms, launched an announcement saying the MP lacks credibility on any coverage that impacts minority communities given his position within the Conservatives’ 2015 election marketing campaign.

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It was throughout that race when the occasion, then led by Harper, promised to create a tip line for so-called “barbaric cultural practices.” Conservatives on the time stated it was meant to report issues like pressured marriage.

Throughout that election, Poilievre was working for re-election as a candidate. He was additionally a member of Harper’s authorities when it launched a invoice banning folks from sporting face coverings throughout citizenship ceremonies. That was in the end struck down in court docket. The promise was additionally included within the occasion’s election marketing campaign, when Harper additionally mused about probably extending it to federal public servants.

Brown stated Monday that Poilievre has by no means spoken out in opposition to these measures. The MP additionally has Jenni Byrne on his staff, who was the occasion’s nationwide marketing campaign supervisor in 2015.

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“This is similar marketing campaign which platformed these two abhorrent insurance policies, and misplaced the Conservatives the 2015 basic election,” Brown’s assertion learn.

“Even when he makes an attempt to distance himself from his silence at the moment, it might be a hole gesture in an insincere bid to achieve votes.”

Poilievre responded Monday by calling Brown a “liar,” accusing him of mischaracterizing what Harper was doing.

“There was no niqab ban,” he stated in an announcement launched on social media.

“I might by no means help that, nor did Mr. Harper. What Mr. Harper proposed was that an individual’s face be seen whereas giving oaths at citizenship ceremonies.”

Poilievre, whose assertion didn’t deal with the previous proposal of a “barbaric cultural practices” tip line, added he would proceed to help immigration and equality.

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In response, Nationwide Council of Canadians CEO Mustafa Farooq tweeted that “management requires accountability” and identified a few of Poilievre’s fellow MPs have apologized for what occurred in 2015.

Amongst these is Edmonton MP Tim Uppal, a co-chair on Poilievre’s marketing campaign, who has apologized for his position as a minister in selling the ban on niqabs throughout citizenship ceremonies. Earlier than the management race, Uppal stated the occasion was nonetheless coping with the fallout from racialized communities due to the 2015 marketing campaign.

A autopsy from the Conservatives’ 2021 election loss submitted in January got here to an identical discovering, in keeping with three sources who spoke to The Canadian Press on the situation of anonymity.

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Melissa Lantsman, a newly elected Ontario MP who can also be supporting Poilievre within the race, shared on social media final fall that whereas she was stood in favour of banning the niqab throughout citizenship ceremonies in 2015, her “view has since developed.”

Michael Diamond, a marketing campaign strategist who, amongst different campaigns, labored on Peter MacKay’s 2020 Conservative management bid, stated Brown’s assault over the problem and focusing on of Byrne is a “proxy” assault on Harper, who is extremely revered among the many membership.

“It looks like folly to me to assault the final marketing campaign of the person who stays the preferred determine on this occasion.”

He added it’s nonetheless early days within the race and cautioned that the debates taking part in out between the campaigns and on social media had been occurring in an “echo chamber.”

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