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

Conservative MP Tim Uppal sorry for role in  divisiveness  of Harper-era policies
OTTAWA -- A former Conservative cabinet minister is apologizing for not pushing against his party s culturally divisive polices of the Stephen Harper era, including an effort to ban face coverings during citizenship ceremonies.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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