NEWS
10/08/2015 11:17 EDT | Updated 10/08/2016 01:12 EDT

Calgary mayor disappointed niqab issue a "flashpoint" in federal campaign

Calgary's mayor has toned down his criticism of the Conservative government for its handling of the niqab issue.

Naheed Nenshi ripped the Conservative's position as politically motivated and "dangerous" in an interview last week and then got into a war of words on the issue with Defence Minister Jason Kenney.

But Nenshi, who attended a citizenship ceremony this morning, stayed away from those words, saying he was disappointed the issue has become such a "flashpoint" in the current campaign.

He is urging Canadians to vote for the Canada they want, but shied away from any criticism of the Conservative government.

Nenshi says human rights are fundamentally urban issues and immigrants primarily move to cities with the hope of living a better life.

The issue of religious accommodation and specifically banning the wearing of face coverings during citizenship ceremonies has become one of the campaign's most contentious issues, particularly in seat-rich Quebec.