POLITICS

Joe Daniel, Tory Candidate, Alleges Muslim Refugee 'Agenda'

09/23/2015 03:19 EDT | Updated 09/23/2015 07:59 EDT

An incumbent Conservative candidate has warned of an "agenda" to bring Muslim refugees to European nations where they will change those countries in major ways.

And in a 52-second video first published by The Toronto Star and submitted to The Huffington Post Canada, Joe Daniel says he does not want the same thing to occur in Canada.

The Tory candidate running for re-election in the Toronto riding of Don Valley North appears to be referencing Saudi Arabia's controversial offer to build mosques in Germany for thousands of Syrian refugees, while the Arab nation also shuts its own doors to those seeking asylum.

"So I think there is a different agenda going on in terms of these refugees," Daniel says in the recording. "Whereas at the same time Saudi Arabia is putting up money for 200 mosques in Germany. So I think the agenda is to try and move as many Muslims into some of these European countries to change those countries in a major way.

"That is something I certainly don't want to see happening in Canada."

Daniel, first elected in 2011, is originally from Tanzania. In the clip, he says Canada has given people like himself the chance to "get engaged in politics."

According to The Star's Tim Harper, Daniel made the remarks at a barbecue in his riding last weekend.

HuffPost has reached out to Daniel to provide more context to the comments. His campaign manager told CBC News that while it is up to Daniel to explain his remarks, he felt they were "taken out of context" and "blown out of proportion."

Video recorded as Alexander announces change

Last Saturday, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced that the federal government will accelerate the processing of Syrian refugee applications by ensuring those fleeing the civil war won't have to prove they are conventional refugees under the United Nations Refugee Agency.

Alexander said the move will allow "thousands more" visas to be issued before the end of the year, but stressed security screening will remain the utmost priority.

Conservatives have faced sharp criticism at different points in the campaign for their response to the refugee crisis in Syria.

Incumbent NDP candidate Fin Donnelly highlighted a Canadian connection to the heartbreaking photo of a drowned boy on a Turkish beach – but Donnelly's approach also yielded political controversy for him.

Past government mailouts referencing cuts to health-care services for refugee claimants also surfaced online.

Harper says rivals would throw open borders

At last week's leaders' debate on the economy, a discussion about immigration quickly sparked a memorable exchange after Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau accused Conservative Leader Stephen Harper of taking away health care for refugees.

Harper shot back that the government has only sought to ensure "bogus" claimants don't get better care than Canadians — a policy "new and existing and old-stock Canadians agree with." Harper's use of "old stock" later sparked controversy and allegations of dog-whistle politics.

On the debate stage, Harper accused Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair of wanting Canada to throw open its borders and have "literally hundreds of thousands of people coming without any kind of security check or documentation."

Mulcair said no party is advocating that position and charged that the Tory leader was "fear-mongering."

The NDP leader added that security concerns should not be used as "a pretext to do nothing."

Liberals have vowed to immediately bring in 25,000 refugees from Syria, while the NDP has said it will bring in 10,000 refugees before the end of the year. Tories have pledged to bring in 10,000 refugees over four years.

With files from The Canadian Press

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