11/19/2015 07:27 EST | Updated 11/19/2015 07:59 EST

Naheed Nenshi Points Out The Problems With Brad Wall's Position On Syrian Refugees

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Naheed Kurban Nenshi, mayor of Calgary, listens during an interview in New York, U.S., on Monday, June 1, 2015. Nenshi is the first Muslim mayor of a major North American city. Photographer: Victor J. Blue

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is highlighting some of the inconsistencies in Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall's argument against opening Canada's border to Syrian refugees.

Wall wrote a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week, asking him to suspend the federal plan to bring 25,000 refugees to Canada.

Following Friday's terror attacks in Paris, Wall called the violence a grim reminder of "the death and destruction even a small number of malevolent individuals can inflict upon a peaceful country and its citizens."

However, the premier announced Thursday that Saskatchewan will open a refugee settlement centre, "notwithstanding" his disagreement with the federal plan.

Nenshi allowed that the premier has a few "reasonable" points on the importance of a thorough screening process, but said he feels perceived security concerns over refugees are a "manufactured controversy."

"I have been shaken over the last four months by a tiny minority of the discourse."

Nenshi noted on CBC Radio's "Alberta At Noon" program Wednesday that each of the identified suspects in the Paris attacks held either a French or a Belgian passport. If someone wants to do harm, Nenshi explained, it would be much easier for them to just hop on a plane to Canada than go through the complicated and lengthy refugee application process.

The mayor, one of Canada's highest-profile Muslims, told the Globe and Mail that he has found much of the rhetoric about refugees upsetting.

“I don’t mind telling you that I have been shaken over the last four months by a tiny minority of the discourse,” Nenshi said in an interview with the newspaper.

Alberta is gearing up to accept between 2,500 and 3,000 refugees; most of them will be settled in Calgary and Edmonton.

How to support or sponsor Syrian refugees in Alberta:

With files from the Canadian Press

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