‘Barbaric cultural practices’ hotline idea still haunts Tories, MP says

The Conservative MP leading outreach efforts for leader Erin O’Toole says a six-year-old promise to create a ‘barbaric cultural practices’ hotline still hangs over the party’s attempts to rebuild relationships with racialized communities today. “It’s there,” Tim Uppal says. “It is there.” Uppal served as the minister of state for multiculturalism in Stephen Harper’s Conservative government when it entered the 2015 federal election campaign. The party positioned itself as the defender of ‘Canadian values’ throughout the race by promising measures like establishing a tip line for so-called “barbaric cultural practices.” Before the election, Harper spent his final months in office pushing culturally divisive policies. Those included a bill banning face coverings from being worn during citizenship ceremonies, a measure Uppal promoted. The MP apologized for that stance this past June in the days after a Muslim family was killed by a driver in London, Ont. City police have described that attack as hate-motivated because they believe the victims were singled out for their faith. “I want to be at a place where I could say, ‘Okay, you’re right, that happened, shouldn’t have happened, I should have been more vocal.

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