Canada's national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police — or as you may know them colloquially, the “Mounties” — will now allow its female officers to wear the hijab as part of their official uniform, reports the Associated Press. Though the head-covering garment worn by some Muslim women has found itself a subject of controversy worldwide, Canada's announcement arrives in time with Scotland's decree from earlier this week.
The policy change was just recently approved by the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. On Wednesday, Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, told the press that this change in police-uniform stipulations were made in the hopes of better reflecting the diversity of Canada, as well as encouraging more Muslim women to join the national organization. “The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is a progressive and inclusive police service that values and respects persons of all cultural and religious backgrounds," he told the AP in an email. The Mounties developed a special hijab to be worn with their uniforms, Julie Gagnon, a spokesperson for the organization, explained. She noted that so far, no officer has requested to wear the hijab on duty since the policy was implemented in January. Canada's open-minded policy finds itself in stark juxtaposition with the burkini ban that swept through an ever-increasing number of seaside French cities this summer before being overturned by officials just this past week. In contrast, when a few Canadian lawmakers called for their country to also outlaw the controversial full-body swimsuits worn by some Muslim women, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quickly dismissed the idea, citing the importance of cultural diversity and tolerance. Just add it to the every-expanding list of reasons we heart Trudeau.