Tough Stand on Refugees/Nikab Helping Harper (Oberfeld)




By Harvey Oberfeld

Keeping It Real…

Friday September the 25th, 2015

Perhaps it’s very fitting that a quote from Yogi Berra has new meaning in the current Canadian federal election: “It ain’t over til it’s over.”

Three national polls done Tuesday … the same day Berra died …. show gains by the  Liberals and the Tories.

A Leger poll gave both the Tories and Liberals 31% voter support and the NDP 29%; a Nanos survey put the Liberals ahead at 32% and the NDP and Tories at 31%; and,  an Ekos poll gave the Tories 35% of the popular vote, well ahead of the Liberals 26% and the NDP 25%.

Analysts say, translated into seats under current riding setups, averaging the results would return Prime Minister Stephen Harper with 125 seats, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair 106 seats each, and Green Leader Elizabeth May 1 seat …. in other words, a Tory minority government.

What changed?

I believe Harper’s toughest stand of all three parties on limiting refugees and opposing the idea of Muslim women from wearing the nikab at Citizenship ceremonies is resonating with many Canadians … more than you would ever know by watching news coverage of either issue.

Not sure if it’s that old “silent majority” crowd (a term, by the way, originally cited by US President Richard Nixon of all people) but clearly something has started to click for Harper on these issues..

The two-hour debate wasn’t even 20 minutes old when the nikab issue was raised.

It’s a MUCH hotter topic in Quebec than anywhere else in the country.

To their credit, Mulcair and Trudeau stuck to their positions: any woman who wants to wear a nikab should be allowed to do so during the swearing-in ceremony, provided they unveil and identify themselves privately to officials beforehand.

Harper’s view is quite different: everyone taking the oath MUST do so unveiled, showing their face as they swear allegiance to Canada, as is currently required under Canadian law.

And when a Muslim woman took the issue to Federal Court and recently won, citing the Charter of Rights …. the Tory government filed for an injunction, trying  to stop her from immediately taking the oath wearing a nikab (and voting), until the issue is appealed to the Supreme Court.

And that Tory position was supported in an earlier government-funded survey released this week : 82% throughout Canada and 93% in Quebec supported the ban on nikabs during Citizenship ceremonies.

No surprise then that Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe went even further during the debate: calling for a nikab ban to be extended to anyone doing any business with any government service or office.

And then there’s the BIG differences between Harper and the other parties on the question of refugees.

The Tories have vowed to accept 10,000 refugees and will expedite the process, but has said due to selection/security measures, it will take until Sept. 2016 to bring them all in.

The Liberals have said, even with proper security checks, they can bring in 25,000 by the end of January.

The NDP says they would also do security checks, but still be able to welcome 10,000 refugees by the end of the year, and 46,000 refugees by 2019.

I believe it was NO accident that, in the French debate, Harper REPEATEDLY invoked safety and security concerns … saying it is “not the time to open the doors wide”.

In fact, in his scripted closing remarks, again it was safety and security that Harper mentioned FIRST, even before tax cuts and the economy, and also LAST,  even hinting again at Tory nikab stand, calling for voters to protect “our security and our values.”

Watch for more of that … in both official languages … if the polls show it’s working.

Harv Oberfeld





  1. Charles, why do you feel a need to apologise for agreeing with Harper?

    The media and the talking heads in the universities repeatedly get it wrong when they purport to speak for the Canadian public. The public is not stupid. They are now starting to see these women in stores and in public – covered from head to toe in black with just eye slits.

    It is extremely scary to see a figure that you can’t identify walking 3 feet behind their husband.

    It is something that completely is at odds with accepted Canadian culture – a very open and accepting culture that dates back centuries.

    Yet, the media will have us believe that we are a nation of immigrants that have just arrived off the boat. Perhaps all our ancestors did indeed come from somewhere else, but how long do we have to be here before our culture is accepted as Canadian?

    Quebec, with a society that is as old as 400 years is speaking up. They, of course, are called racist by the talking heads.

    But thankfully, the notion that we have to accept masked women is, apparently, not accepted by most Canadians.

    It’s just a matter of time before other groups start demanding and receiving more – including special legal status – and our “inclusive” politicians, spurred on by the intelligencia, adopt Sharia law as a parallel legal structure.

    It was to Canada that our “nation of immigrants’ fled from their home countires. They came here to escape religious persecution and to free themselves from the shackles of repressive laws and taxation. Now, we seem to be adopting those very same laws and customs that our ancestors fled.

    It appears that the “silent majority” finally woke up and is saying no to this threat to our very way of life. And I think its refreshing that a politician actually gets it.

  2. Worth repeating:

    “It appears that the “silent majority” finally woke up and is saying no to this threat to our very way of life. And I think its refreshing that a politician actually gets it”.



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