July 5, 2022

Conservative MP Tim Uppal sorry for role in ‘divisiveness’ of Harper-era policies

A former Conservative cabinet minister is apologizing for not pushing against his party’s culturally divisive policies of the Stephen Harper era, including an effort to ban face coverings during citizenship ceremonies.

In a Facebook post, Tory MP Tim Uppal says he has been talking to people about how to make all Canadians feel safe following the deadly attack this month on a Muslim family in London, Ont.

READ MORE: London attack suspect charged with terrorism 

Watch above: Some Global News videos about a deadly attack on a Muslim family in London, Ont.

Story continues below advertisement

As minister of state for multiculturalism in the Harper government, Uppal was the spokesman for a bill to ban wearing the niqab while taking the oath of citizenship.

READ MORE: Court rejects feds’ appeal for stay in niqab case

Campaigning for re-election in 2015, the party also proposed a “barbaric cultural practices” hotline people could call to tell authorities about the supposedly objectionable practices of others.

Uppal says after the Liberals beat the Conservatives at the polls, he spent considerably more time talking to Canadians outside the partisan political bubble.

READ MORE: Conservatives crank up the cultural identity heat before final French debate

He says it was through these conversations that he came to understand how the niqab policy and other pronouncements during the election campaign alienated Muslim Canadians and contributed to the growing problem of Islamophobia in Canada.

“When it came to these policies, I should have used my seat at the table to push against divisiveness that promoted the notion of the other,” he said in the Facebook post. “I regret not being a stronger voice and sincerely apologize for my role.”

Many have parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who blazed the trail for them in Canada because they believed it would provide their families with a safer and prosperous future, Uppal said.

Story continues below advertisement

“The Canada that they believed in was one that held, in its core, the belief that your race, your religion, your gender, or your sexuality would be accepted here,” he wrote.

“It is up to us all to make Canada a better place.”

Uppal, who returned to Parliament in 2019 after being defeated four years earlier, said he is “proud to stand” with Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole due to his commitment to equality.

Watch below: Some recent videos about Erin O’Toole.

Asked Monday if the Conservatives owe an apology to the Muslim community over past policies, O’Toole said “all parties need to do better.”

“I’m proud that my members are reaching out to members of the Muslim community, reaching out trying to build trust with Canadians,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

“We have to build trust with more and more Canadians before the next election, and I’m committed to do that.”




© 2021 The Canadian Press

Related Posts

House passes bill to create national holiday for truth and reconciliation – National

May 29, 2021

May 29, 2021

Federal lawmakers have passed legislation to create a national day for truth and reconciliation. MPs unanimously agreed to wrap...

Details of plans to ease COVID-19 travel rules coming within days: minister – National

June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says the government’s plans for a phased reopening of the border to international travel following...

RCMP make 8 more arrests at Vancouver Island old-growth logging blockades

June 20, 2021

June 20, 2021

VICTORIA – Mounties have arrested eight more people camped near old-growth forest logging areas west of Victoria. RCMP say...

Canadian mayors press Freeland for direct funding for urban Indigenous housing

May 31, 2021

May 31, 2021

The mayors of Canada’s biggest cities say they pushed Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland for a timeline on when the...

Conservative MP’s abortion bill defeated 248-82 as Liberals blast O’Toole over free vote – National

June 2, 2021

June 2, 2021

A vote defeating an abortion bill from a Conservative MP reignited Liberal government attacks against the party’s leader for...

Sweeping legal changes needed to address military sexual misconduct: committee – National

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

The federal government must make sweeping changes to the legal foundations of the military — including banning the practice...

‘It doesn’t leave a person’: Residential schools aren’t ‘history’ for many, advocates say – National

June 2, 2021

June 2, 2021

Warning: Some of the details in this story may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised. When the...

G7 officials vow to reach minimum global corporate tax deal – National

May 31, 2021

May 31, 2021

By Jan Strupczewski Reuters Posted May 31, 2021 11:10 am     ...

‘Unacceptable and wrong’: Trudeau says vandalizing churches can hurt those seeking ‘solace’

July 2, 2021

July 2, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is speaking out against multiple acts of vandalism that have taken place across Canada, from...

Moving and removing statues: Indigenous advocates want to see ‘justice’ in Canada – National

June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021

Warning: Some of the details in this story may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.  As Canadian...

Trudeau set to receive second COVID-19 vaccine dose on Friday: PMO – National

July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s about to get his second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The prime minister...

Trudeau receives Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for 2nd dose – National

July 2, 2021

July 2, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for his second dose on Friday. Trudeau received the vaccine...

Canada a key player in U.S. COVID-19 economic recovery, Ng tells free trade meeting – National

May 18, 2021

May 18, 2021

Canada needs to be a central player in American efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mary Ng said...

Trudeau tests negative for COVID-19 after G7, will leave hotel quarantine – National

June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tested negative for COVID-19 following his return from the G7 leaders summit in the...

Feds launch 2 new immigration pathways to Canada for Hong Kongers – National

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

The Canadian government on Tuesday opened two new routes to permanent residence for Hong Kong recent graduates and workers...