10/02/2015 03:59 EDT | Updated 10/04/2015 05:59 EDT

Jason Kenney's #PeopleLikeNenshi Remark Raises Eyebrows

#PeopleLikeKenney might need to be a little more careful about their choice of words.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
OTTOWA, CANADA - APRIL 14: Canada's Minister National Defence Jason Kenney speaks during an announcement for a new deployment of 200 troops on a training mission to western Ukraine, joining American and British allies in support of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's combat forces, in Ottowa, Canada on April 14, 2015. Canada will send 200 military trainers to Ukraine, joining the U.S. and Britain in an international effort to shore up the eastern European country's combat forces. (Photo by Cole Burston/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Conservative incumbent Jason Kenney took issue with criticism lobbed by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi this week, and his choice of words did not go unnoticed.

On Wednesday, Nenshi criticized Tory leader Stephen Harper's stance on the niqab ban as "unbelievably dangerous stuff."

Kenney was quick to take umbrage and responded: “It seems to me that it’s the mayor and people like him who are politicizing [the niqab ban]. I don’t think this should be an issue of contention," Kenney told the Calgary Herald.

Kenney's use of the phrase "people like him" sparked a wave of responses on Twitter.

Nenshi took the high road.

Some asked Kenney what he meant.

Others outright accused the Tory of racism.

Edmonton Journal columnist Paula Simons made the hashtag #PeopleLikeNenshi official.

Twitter users from across the country jumped into the conversation.

... including Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.

A few defended Kenney's remarks.

Even after all of the drama, Nenshi had only kind words for Kenney.

UPDATE: On Friday, Kenney clarified that he was talking about "politically correct liberals who were politicizing this issue." In an interview with Evan Solomon, the Tory incumbent said suggestions that his comment related to race or religion were "completely ridiculous."

According to Twitter Canada, in the first 24 hours since Paula Simons first tweeted "#PeopleLikeNenshi," the hashtag was used over 14,000 times — Calgary-based accounts made up 55 per cent of the tweets.

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