Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended the burkini — an Islamic dress for swimming that covers the whole body except the face, hands, and feet — and stood for individual rights during a meeting with his ministers on Monday (22 August). He said that Canada did not like to seize personal rights and respected cultural diversity.
While speaking to media, the Liberal Party leader addressed the controversy swirling in France over a burkini ban and said, "We should be past tolerance in Canada". He added that the country could never think of a burkini ban or any kind of prohibition that would affect any person's individuality.
"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," he was quoted as saying by AFP.
He also added that individual rights should be "at the top of public discourse and debate."
Some policymakers in Quebec province of Canada had requested for the ban after 15 towns in France's southeast banned burkinis, but Trudeau dismissed the ministers' call.
The row over the burkinis started after France's recent bans against the swimsuits from some local beaches. Mayor David Lisnard of Cannes mentioned that the burkinis could create "risks of trouble to public order", while Thierry Migoule, the head of Cannes municipal services, referred the burkini "ostentatious clothing referring to an allegiance to terrorist movements that are at war with us."