Federal Conservatives pulled an ad from their Twitter account on Tuesday as critics called it "racist" and "unforgivable."
The ad shows a black man walking over a graphic of a tweet by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to enter Canada through a broken fence. Superimposed on the photo is a headline from the Financial Post newspaper: "Trudeau's holier-than-thou tweet causes migrant crisis — now he needs to fix what he started."
Conservative party spokesman Cory Hann told The Canadian Press the ad was axed because the situation at the border is not about any one group of people.
Hann said the original photo, which shows an actual person "illegally'' crossing over the Canadian border, had been used by a number of media outlets with stories about the surge in asylum seekers.
Some decried the ad on Twitter.
Ths is the ad I asked @AndrewScheer to take down. He did and I thanked him for that. Attacking #Trudeau's chaotic border politicy is legit. Putting out visuals of a black man breaking into Canada is an American far right approach we don't need to import. pic.twitter.com/9U6leZAHVt— Charles Adler (@charlesadler) July 17, 2018
I would like to thank @AndrewScheer and the @CPC_HQ for the most racist political ad that I have ever seen. A black man walking across water to reach a fenced off Canada. You're not even trying to hide your racism. You've gone full Rebel Media. #cdnpoli#cdnmediapic.twitter.com/VEK8E4k1sM— Neil Before Zod™ (@ThatsMrNeil) July 16, 2018
The Conservatives can delete it but we saw what they did. And it is surely circulating among white supremacists.— Mike Gibbs 🏳️🌈 (@Mikeggibbs) July 17, 2018
We see their racist and minority fear mongering *every day*. They are emboldening dangerous people. There is no redemption. It is unforgivable. #WeSeeYou#cdnpolihttps://t.co/gqjtm7ZHEw
Tory MPs blame Trudeau for an influx of migrants and refugees seeking asylum in Canada.
In January 2017, Trudeau wrote on Twitter that Canada would welcome refugees regardless of their religion. Without mentioning U.S. President Donald Trump by name, Trudeau was responding to the president's indefinite ban on Syrian refugees and travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries.
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen denies that Trudeau's tweet encouraged people to cross into Canada from the U.S.
"The Conservative charge that the recent flow of asylum seekers into Canada began after a tweet by the prime minister is not only false, it's ridiculous," he wrote in The Toronto Star on Tuesday.
Last month, 1,263 people claimed asylum between official ports of entry at the U.S.-Canada border, according to government data. That's the lowest monthly total in the past year, compared to a high of 5,712 in August 2017.
In February 2017, the month after Trudeau's tweet, there were 678 asylum claims from irregular migrants.
With files from The Canadian Press
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