In their Sunday night French-language debate in Montreal, four NDP leadership aspirants gingerly navigated the minefield of Quebec's Bill 62, nearing enactment, which will ban face coverings in the delivery and reception of publicly-funded services.

As good leftists one and all, Charlie Angus, Guy Caron, Jagmeet Singh and Niki Ashton oppose any such ban in their multicultural hearts, but desperately want to avoid offending Quebec nationalists (and others, such as this columnist) who find such a ban perfectly reasonable.

My colleague Chris Selley came down particularly hard on Niki Ashton in his recent commentary in these pages, for her ascription of Quebec's antipathy to the niqab to the "widely different ... place" religion has held in Quebec "since the Quiet Revolution."

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