Toronto – Canadian opposition leaders have accused Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper of playing divisive politics in a French-language debate ahead of next month’s election.

Harper has been promoting a law to ban the practice of Muslim women wearing face veils while swearing the oath of citizenship. The anti-niqab’s law is popular in Quebec.

Harper lost a court decision to ban the practice this month. He’s appealing to the Supreme Court.

Harper said Thursday that swearing an oath with a covered face does not fit with Canadian values and had a heated exchanged with opposition New Democrat leader Tom Mulcair, who says Harper is trying to hide his record behind a niqab. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau says Harper is playing on fears.

Polls say the Oct. 19 election is a three way toss-up.

As reported by Vos Iz Neias