… than attempting to deny its existence.
From today’s Question Period:
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, as part of the culmination of the machinations of the leader of the NDP, we had these three parties together forming this agreement, signing a document, and they would not even have the Canadian flag behind them. They had to be photographed without it.
They had to be photographed without it because a member of their coalition does not even believe in the country. As Prime Minister it is not my responsibility to turn the keys of power over to a group like that.
UPDATE – Environment Minister Jim Prentice at the post-QP scrums:
Hon. Jim Prentice: Mr. Dion is attempting to subvert the democratic will of the Canadian people. In the last election, people spoke very clearly. To attempt to take over the Government of Canada with a government propped up by a separatist party is not something that was put to the Canadian party.
Question: Is that not how a parliament works?
Question: Is it appropriate in the context of a big debate now that’s unfolding in the country for the prime minister to make a false statement in the House that the Canadian flag was not there behind the news conference when photos show it actually was?
Hon. Jim Prentice: Well, it was clear, I watched the press conference myself, they were not Canadian flags behind the three opposition leaders. There were a number of flags there. And I think the implication was clear that there were not only Canadian flags behind him. That’s the point.
Question: But, Minister, there were Canadian flags. We were there. There were Canadian flags (inaudible) so why did you say there weren’t?
Question: (Inaudible) in the House in the context of a heated debate like this?
Hon. Jim Prentice: Excuse me?
Question: Why wouldn’t you answer that question?
Hon. Jim Prentice: There was a Canadian flag. The point is there were not only Canadian flags behind the opposition parties when they announced —
Question: provincial flags.
Question: Are you saying they’re anti-Canadian, Minister?
… and from Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl:
Question: Why did you lie about the flag because there were flags behind them?
Hon. Chuck Strahl: The picture that I saw and the picture that I had — actually saw, somebody gave it off the Liberal Party website, shows that there is no flags there.