UPDATED: On second thought, I think I prefer him wrapping himself in the flag …

… than attempting to deny its existence.

From today’s Question Period:


(Photo sent out within seconds by the Liberal press office.)

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:                       (Inaudible)

Question:                       provincial flags.

Question:                       Are you saying they’re anti-Canadian, Minister?

… and from Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl:

Screencap of the Liberal Party website

Screencap of the Liberal Party website

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.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.