OTTAWA — The political debate over the plight of Syrian refugees has re-emerged on the campaign trail, with media reports that suggest the Prime Minister's Office temporarily halted their entry into Canada, citing potential security threats.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's opponents quickly accused him of once again trying to whip up public safety fears among voters ahead of the Oct. 19 vote.
The reports say Harper's office ordered a security review in June of government-assisted refugee cases from Syria after U.S. intelligence reports suggested the foreigners could pose a risk to that country.
The process was eventually restarted after a few weeks of delay after no threats were found. It did not affect the processing of privately sponsored files.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair pulled no punches, calling the decision to halt the process "abject" and demanding that Harper apologize.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says it's another example of Harper reverting to the politics of fear and division to distract from Conservative failures.