A noteworthy exchange from question period Wednesday in the House of Commons

The Canadian Press
June 18, 2014 01:37 PM

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair asks a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday June 18, 2014 . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA - On Wednesday, the NDP opened the taps in its broadside against the Conservative government's decision to conditionally approve the Northern Gateway pipeline. Leader Tom Mulcair pressed Prime Minister Stephen Harper on why, given the decision, Conservative MPs from B.C. were so reluctant to defend it.

Harper parried Mulcair's thrust by reminding the House that the NDP has been accused of improperly using parliamentary resources to pay for partisan mailings and satellite office staff.

Mulcair: Mr. Speaker ... can the prime minister please explain — if this reckless pipeline through British Columbia's most pristine wilderness is actually in the interest of all British Columbians — why every single one of his 21 British Columbia MPs has entered the witness protection program?

Harper: Mr. Speaker, that is interesting, coming from a leader who has apparently entered the witness protection program when it comes to the mailing and running of his own offices.

I hope that he is just as ready to explain his actions when he is called upon, as, of course, all members of the government are.

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