RCMP doc sparks up­roar

Ques­tion­naire aimed at Mus­lim asy­lum seek­ers

Calgary Sun - - NEWS - — The Cana­dian Press

OTTAWA — The emer­gence of an RCMP ques­tion­naire tar­get­ing Mus­lim asy­lum seek­ers in Quebec sparked crit­i­cism Thurs­day that the Lib­eral govern­ment mis­man­aged last sum­mer’s mas­sive flow of mi­grants from the United States.

The ques­tion­naire was used at the Quebec border cross­ing that saw an in­flux of thou­sands of asy­lum seek­ers from the U.S., many of them of Haitian de­scent who were con­cerned about the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­ci­sion to can­cel a pro­gram that al­lowed them to stay in the coun­try.

Among other things, the ques­tion­naire asked opin­ions about re­li­gious prac­tice, head cov­er­ings as­so­ci­ated with Mus­lim women and ter­ror­ist groups with mainly Mus­lim mem­bers.

Toronto im­mi­gra­tion lawyer Clifford McCarten said he ob­tained a copy of the doc­u­ment from a client seek­ing refugee sta­tus, who had been given the three-page, 41-ques­tion doc­u­ment by mis­take.

“He was shocked by the ques­tions,” said McCarten, who pro­vided a copy to The Cana­dian Press.

The man was orig­i­nally from a Mus­lim coun­try, he added.

“Canada is a very lib­eral coun­try that be­lieves in free­dom of re­li­gious prac­tice and equal­ity between men and women. What is your opin­ion of this sub­ject? How would you feel if your boss was a wo­man? How do you feel about women who do not wear the hi­jab?” says the ques­tion­naire, which also asked the same ques­tion about other head and body cov­er­ings, in­clud­ing the du­patta, niqab, chador and burka.

A spokesman for Pub­lic Safety Min­is­ter Ralph Goodale said the govern­ment found out on Tues­day about the ex­is­tence of the ques­tion­naire from a “stake­holder” who takes an in­ter­est in the work of the depart­ment.

Pub­lic Safety spokesman Scott Bard­s­ley said the depart­ment was im­me­di­ately con­cerned and the doc­u­ment is no longer be­ing used by the RCMP.

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