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The Bloc Québécois leader is getting his meeting with the federal government’s newly appointed special representative on combatting Islamophobia amid a debate over comments she made about Quebec.

News of the meeting came Tuesday, a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would facilitate it.

The office of Yves-François Blanchet announced he will meet with Amira Elghawaby, a human-rights advocate and journalist, whom Mr. Trudeau has appointed to the new Islamophobia post.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday in the BQ offices on Parliament Hill, and Mr. Blanchet will be accompanied by BQ member Martin Champoux, whose files include heritage and Quebec values.

Ms. Elghawaby has been under fire from the Quebec government, the federal Conservatives, and the Bloc over a 2019 article she co-authored that had material perceived as showing anti-Quebec sentiment. The column opposed Bill 21, the Quebec law that bans some public servants from wearing religious symbols, such as hijabs.

Ottawa reporter Marsha McLeod reports here on the controversy.

In a statement on Tuesday, BQ spokesperson Julien Coulombe-Bonnafous said the Bloc wants to know, from Ms. Elghawaby, how Mr. Trudeau presented the mandate for her assignment, and, in turn, party representatives will present their views on the separation of church and state and the history that led to Bill 21 in Quebec.

During Monday’s Question Period, Mr. Blanchet asked Mr. Trudeau about the possibility of an opportunity to meet with Ms. Elghawaby.

“That meeting will take place,” Mr. Trudeau said, adding he would facilitate it. “I think it will be a great conversation. She will be able to explain the extent to which Islamophobia and systemic racism are a reality for people all across this country.”

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you're reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


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