If there is a national ground zero for our election campaign's sudden fixation with the niqab and citizenship ceremonies, it is in Quebec where, on Friday night, the men who hope to be prime minister after Oct. 19 gathered for their final debate of the campaign.

This is the province where the central issue of the last provincial election, in 2014, was the so-called "Charter of Values", a document presented by the incumbent premier Pauline Marois that, among other things, would have made it mandatory to have one's face uncovered when providing or receiving a provincial service.

Marois and her separatist Parti Quebecois got thumped in that election while Quebec Liberal leader Philippe Couillard won big, partly because he rejected the extremes of the Charter.

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