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Canada PM, opponents clash over refugee policy in debate

Canadian PM clashes with opponents in debate over taking in more Syrian refugees

Canada PM, opponents clash over refugee policy in debate

TORONTO (AP) -- Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canada shouldn't take in more Syrian refugees as he debated his two main rivals in next month's election.

In Monday night's debate, Harper said Canada shouldn't "open the flood gates" and needs to maintain security. Opposition New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair says Canadians want their government to do more. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau says Canada needs to be the country it once was.

Harper has declined to resettle more Syrian refugees despite the haunting image of a drowned 3-year-old boy washed up on a Turkish beach that focused the world's attention on the largest migrant crisis since World War II. His government has announced they'll speed up processing of a previously announced number of refugees.

Polls show the Oct. 19 election is a toss-up.

Updated : 2021-09-17 15:50 GMT+08:00