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Four-in-ten outside Quebec would prohibit women wearing niqabs from receiving government services


While the vast majority of Quebecers support their province’s new law banning people from providing or receiving government services with their faces covered, new research from the Angus Reid Institute finds that four-in-ten outside of Quebec feel similarly.

Some 40 per cent of residents of Canada’s other nine provinces say women should be prohibited from visiting government offices while wearing a niqab. A further three-in-ten (31%) say such behaviour should be “discouraged but tolerated,” while fewer (28%) say it should be “welcome.”

These findings come as reactions to Quebec’s Bill 62 pervade Canada’s English-language media and Canadians across the country report they are paying close attention to the issue.

Regional and generational differences are key to Canadians views on this topic. Among Quebec residents fully seven-in-ten (70%) say women wearing niqabs should be prohibited from visiting government offices, and only 8 per cent say such people should be welcome. English-speaking regions, meanwhile, are more divided.

More Key Findings:

  • More than seven-in-ten Canadians (72%) paying either “some” or “a lot of attention” to this issue
  • Outside of Quebec, Alberta and Saskatchewan are the regions most likely to say niqabs should be “prohibited” at government facilities (46% and 52% do, respectively), while Manitoba is the most likely to say they should be “welcome” (41%)
  • There are significant differences on this question by age and past political affiliation as well. A plurality (42%) of those ages 18-34 say niqabs should be “welcome” at government offices, while nearly two-in-three past Conservative voters (62%) favour their prohibition

Link to the poll here:

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