06:34 GMT +312 December 2018
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    Canadian Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau speaks at a press conference in Ottawa on October 20, 2015 after winning the general elections

    Not Interested: Justin Trudeau Says Burkini Ban Has ‘No Place in Canada’

    © AFP 2018 / NICHOLAS KAMM
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    On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau extolled the importance of diversity and individual rights, when asked about the controversy over France’s burkini ban. Discourse over the issue heated up after a video surfaced showing police on a beach in Nice forcing a woman to remove her burkini and issuing her a fine.

    After meeting with ministers to discuss legislative plans, Trudeau told reporters, "We should be past tolerance in Canada." His comments come after a call from some Canadian lawmakers to outlaw the body covering Islamic swimsuits, following the example of 15 towns in southeast France. 

    This includes Nice, which was the target of a terror attack in July when a hijacked truck plowed into people participating in annual Bastille Day activities.

    After the attack, the city banned clothing that "overtly manifests adherence to a religion at a time when France and places of worship are the target of terrorist attacks."

    Trudeau played down the notion that Canada should have a similar ban, calling for "the respect of individual rights and choices." He also said the issue should be "at the top of public discourse and debate." 

    "In Canada, can we speak of acceptance, openness, friendship, understanding? It is about where we are going and what we are going through every day in our diverse and rich communities," the Prime Minister remarked.

    He added that governments prove themselves to be hypocritical when they undermine citizens rights in the name of espousing tolerance. He said for some countries, "Tolerating someone means accepting their right to exist on the condition that they don’t disturb us too, too much."

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