Mr. Speaker, in recent weeks, the wearing of the burka and the niqab has been the subject of polarized debate.
The wearing of religious symbols and clothing in the public sphere is appropriate under all but a few specific circumstances.
Obtaining a driver's licence, a citizenship card, or a passport are some of these circumstances, the latter requiring that citizens even remove their glasses for their photo.
In addition, everyone's face should be uncovered during the course of the citizenship ceremony and while he or she is voting.
Basic common sense dictates that a person needs to allow visual identification by the public servant dealing with the issue. If a woman refuses to uncover her face because the official in front of her happens to be male, we should be able to accommodate her by having a designated female public servant available to step in.
Furthermore, anyone wearing a veil that does not cover the face should be allowed to testify in court.
Reasonable Canadians will debate this topic in a measured and respectful manner.