Calgary – October 2, 2015 – The Mayor of Calgary has blasted Stephen Harper for inciting ethnic wedge politics to help the Harper Conservative party gain votes in the upcoming federal election. “This is disgusting and it is time for us to say stop it,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi in a radio interview in Thursday. Nenshi was referring to the ongoing legal battle, launched by the Harper Conservatives, to ban women from wearing face coverings, such as the niqab, during citizenship ceremonies. In September, the Federal Court of Appeal struck down the Harper government ban and said it was unlawful. Harper has told government lawyers to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
Nenshi said by pushing the issue, Harper was “playing with fire” and wasting taxpayers’ money. “This is unbelievably dangerous stuff. I spoke with a group of mayors and councillors from all over Alberta last week,” Nenshi said. “I stood up and said this is disgusting and it is time for us to say stop it — it’s time for us to say this is enough.”