Governor General rebuked for niqab comments

Dear editor:

I used to have a lot of respect for Canada’s Governor General David Johnston. As far as the upper crust goes he seemed to be an okay guy. That was until he did an interview with Peter Mansbridge on April 13, 2016.

Mr. Johnson, responding to Mr. Mansbridge’s comment that he had taken an active role in the niqab debate said, “I think Canada showed its strength that should not sidetrack us from who we really are. I continue to worry about any initiatives that would cause us to be small-minded and to lose that sense of inclusiveness, fairness, equality of opportunity.” Small minded, sir? How dare you belittle the many Canadians who saw and still see the niqab issue as a serious affront to the Canadian Constitution and notably the part, which guarantees equal rights for women? Polls at the time showed 82 percent of Canadians had serious reservations about allowing face coverings.

A Governor General is the Queen’s representative to Canada and as such is supposed to be apolitical in his position as the Queen’s representative. For you to make out that it is somehow non-Canadian to take a stand against the niqab is certainly going beyond your purview and totally unacceptable. It is not your place to lecture Canadians on what their political opinions should be. In fact you are the one person in Canada who is not supposed to have or express any biased political opinions.

Gayle Smith

RR#3, Paisley, Ontario