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CAQ’s Nathalie Roy calls burqas, niqabs ‘accessories of oppression’

Days away from Oct. 19, women wearing the niqab while taking the Canadian citizenship oath continues to be a hot topic on the election campaign.
A covered woman is pictured in a lawyer's office on Thursday, October 8, 2015. The Canadian Press / Chris Young

Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) minister Nathalie Roy is once again speaking out against what the party is calling “radical Islam.”

In a tweet Tuesday, the immigration critic wrote: “We are not in Saudi Arabia. We are in Quebec. Burqas and niqabs are accessories that oppress women.”

WATCH BELOW: CAQ’s stance on immigration

Roy has not been shy in the past about sharing her thoughts on gender equality.

READ MORE: Quebecers ready to put charter of values to rest

“Women are beaten and killed around the world for not wanting to wear those symbols of oppression and submission and that’s extremely important,” said Roy in August.

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“I think that we have the right to question that without being accused of wanting to hurt anybody.”

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When asked, party representatives agreed, telling Global News that: “the CAQ considers the burqa and the niqab are accessories associated to radical Islam.”

A large majority of Quebecers agree with us and are against radical Islam and its accessories,” said Guillaume Simard-Leduc, a spokesperson for the party.

“We won’t back off on this issue because some people with an elitist point of view would like people with concerns on these matters to stop expressing themselves.”

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The second opposition party has promised to introduce a secular Quebec, taking a page from the Parti Québécois (PQ) who tried to introduce the Quebec Charter of Values back in 2013.

READ MORE: ‘Rich McGill students’ threaten gender equality warns Quebec icon Janette Bertrand

CAQ leader François Legault said he wants to prohibit people in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols.

That would include teachers, judges, police officers and prison guards.

READ MORE: Opinion: How can Quebec voters choose between racism and corruption?

“These people are in authority and I think they should be in a neutrality position. They should not wear religious signs,” he said in August.

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READ MORE: CAQ wants to cut immigration to Quebec by 20 per cent

The debate has opened up the larger conversation about immigration within the CAQ caucus.

Legault stressed that he wants new immigrants to take mandatory French classes, be tested on Quebec’s cultural values and follow a three-year probationary period.

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca