The Liberal government attempted to put the Conservatives in a difficult spot with the controversial appointment. That has backfired spectacularly.
The backlash to the appointment of Amira Elghawaby as Canada’s first “special representative to combat Islamophobia” continues.
Following criticism from both the Conservatives and some Liberal MPs, the Quebec government is now calling on Elghawaby to resign, or be fired if she doesn’t resign:
“The Quebec government is calling for the resignation of the federal government’s special representative to combat Islamophobia.
Quebec Secularism Minister Jean-François Roberge says Ottawa should fire Amira Elghawaby immediately if she chooses not to resign.
The journalist and activist was appointed to the role last week by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Elghawaby co-wrote a 2019 opinion piece in the Ottawa Citizen linking “anti-Muslim sentiment” to Quebec’s Bill 21, which bans certain government employees from wearing religious symbols at work.”
CPC Leader Pierre Poilievre has slammed the move to appoint Elghawaby, and Liberal cabinet minister Pablo Rodriguez was also highly critical:
“”Anti-Muslim” Quebecers: past statements by the Trudeau government’s special representative for the fight against Islamophobia, Amira Elghawaby, are causing a stir (first reported by @LP_LaPresse ). Angry, @pablorodriguez demands that she withdraw her words. #polcan”
Québécois « antimusulmans » : les déclarations passés de la représentante spéciale de la lutte contre l’islamophobie du gouvernement Trudeau, Amira Elghawaby, font réagir (d'abord rapportés par @LP_LaPresse). En colère, @pablorodriguez demande qu'elle retire ses paroles. #polcan pic.twitter.com/4uBaN9Uk48
— Louis Blouin (@ICILouisBlouin) January 27, 2023
Wedge issue backfires
The appointment of Elghawaby – who has also made comments critical of Canada Day, the police, and the late Queen – was clearly meant to put the Conservatives in a tough political spot.
The Liberals thought the move would force the Conservatives to oppose her and be called ‘Islamophobic,’ or acquiesce to the appointment and be considered weak by some in their own political base.
Instead, it’s the Liberals who have wedged themselves.
The English-Canada and Quebec wings of the party are deeply divided on this issue, and whatever Trudeau does now will upset one faction of the party.
As Trudeau continues to struggle in the polls, and as Canadians continue to fall behind economically, it seems poorly-thought-out attempts to divide Canadians are about all Trudeau has left.
Photo – YouTube