Quebec premier condemns Trump, Leitch immigration stance; vows to tackle ‘violent racism’

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WATCH ABOVE: Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said he is “committed” to fighting violent racism in the province following the Quebec City mosque shooting that left six people dead. Global's Raquel Fletcher reports – Feb 3, 2017

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard paid his respects to families of the mosque shooting victims Friday at the funeral in Quebec City.

In his speech, the premier addressed the crowd partly in Arabic, to which he received a standing ovation.

“I repeat these words purposely because in movies, they are associated with terrorists,” he said.

Early Friday morning, he made two announcements to immediately address “violent racism” in Quebec.

READ MORE: Quebec City mosque left with blood stains, bullet holes after deadly shooting

He reached out to opposition parties to ask them to stop the debate around religious accommodations.

The government’s religious neutrality bill is still in the works.

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READ MORE: Thousands attend Montreal funeral for 3 of Quebec City mosque shooting victims

The premier confirmed the Liberals will make an amendment to Bill 62, which will prohibit government employees from covering their faces.

He made a plea to the rest of the National Assembly to unanimously adopt the bill without further debate.

“Unanimity here, in this present time, would be a very positive signal in our society,” he said.

He explained his government’s top priority is to make sure immigrants aren’t denied work in Quebec due to discrimination.

“Access to employment has to be as good for Gerard as Mohammed,” he said.

READ MORE: Canadian CEO offers to cover funeral costs for Quebec City mosque shooting victims

The premier condemned politicians like U.S. President Donald Trump and federal Conservative party candidate Kellie Leitch, who have come out to use the Quebec mosque attack as justification to tighten immigration, even though the alleged gunman is Canadian.

“Where’s the logic? I don’t understand. People are just turning the table around here. What’s at [the root] cause here is racism and xenophobia,” Couillard said.
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WATCH BELOW: Remembering the Quebec City mosque shooting victims

Couillard spoke of his personal reactions to Sunday’s atrocity.

READ MORE: Alexandre Bissonnette allegedly visited Quebec City mosque days before shooting: source

“You know how affirmative I’ve been over the years of this issue of inclusion and open and tolerant societies,” he said.

“I felt a lot of the pain. I felt that very deeply and I felt the need to rally everyone in Quebec around this concept of equal citizenship and tolerance.”

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