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PM Trudeau 'disappointed' by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

BY The Canadian Press, Sep 25, 2020 11:57 AM - REPORT AN ERROR

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives with Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam, left, for a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is very disappointed that Sikh RCMP officers have been reassigned during the pandemic because their religiously mandated facial hair makes it difficult to properly wear a face covering.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is very disappointed that Sikh RCMP officers have been reassigned during the pandemic because their religiously mandated facial hair makes it difficult to properly wear a face covering.

The World Sikh Organization of Canada says officers have been placed on desk duty for almost six months, as the RCMP found the N100 mask does not seal with facial hair.

The organization says no attempt has been made to accommodate Sikh officers with other protective coverings that would work with facial hair.

Trudeau says health and safety regulations are extremely important and must be applied in workplaces across the country.

But he says many other police services and organizations have managed to uphold health standards without discriminating against employees.

Trudeau says the RCMP's move should not have happened and he hopes the police service will rectify things swiftly.

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