Quebec MP Steven Blaney is running for leadership of the Conservative Party, and his first major policy position is a ban on the niqab and a promise to invoke the notwithstanding clause if courts strike down his new measures.

The former minister in the cabinet of Stephen Harper said he will introduce legislation that would forbid the Islamic face-covering while voting and taking the oath of citizenship. He also said that the prohibition would extend to people working in the federal public service.

"We are a country that is built on immigration, but we have to be sure that those new Canadians we welcome are understanding of how we live. We don't want our country to become like the country they left," Blaney told reporters Monday. "We fully welcome you, but we want you to respect who we are."

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