Brad Wall denies inconsistency on refugees after social media criticism

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has denied inconsistency in his position on refugees after Twitter users flagged his previous comments about slowing down the refugee intake in 2015.

Premier called for federal government to suspend refugee plan in 2015

Brad Wall says his position on refugees has been consistent despite some social media users flagging his calls to slow down the refugee intake process in 2015. (CBC)

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has denied inconsistency in his position on refugees after Twitter users flagged his previous comments about slowing down the refugee intake in 2015.

On Saturday, Wall wrote on Twitter that Saskatchewan would help the federal government assist refugees stranded by the U.S. travel ban.

Many used the same social media platform to praise the premier for his offer of support. But some Twitter users flagged previous comments Wall made calling for the federal government to suspend its refugee plan just over a year ago.

Past comments on refugees

In November, 2015, Wall said he was worried about the potential for danger associated with processing a large number of refugees in a short amount of time.

"If even a small number of individuals who wish to do harm to our country are able to enter Canada as a result of a rushed refugee resettlement process, the results could be devastating," Wall said at the time.

2015 comments related to timeline: Wall

But Wall told CBC News on Tuesday his concerns at the time related specifically to the federal government's deadline.

"A year ago, it was never the position of the [provincial] government that we should not be welcoming and taking in refugees from Syria," said Wall.

"In fact, after I had sounded some concerns about the timing, about the deadline the government had placed on it, we set up a resettlement team.

"What I said consistently, and what I still say today, is that we should never have a refugee intake, a refugee settlement plan, driven by a date."

He noted that the federal government later extended its deadline for accepting 25,000 refugees beyond the end of 2015. 

Support for Wall

Some social media users made the same distinction, saying the two issues were different.

With files from CBC's Stefani Langenegger