Sign language

Scrumming after QP, Denis Coderre, John McCallum and reporters debate the Prime Minister’s disposition.

Question: What did you take from Mr. Harper’s response today I guess in answer to Mr. Layton basically saying estimates are there, vote for them or don’t.

John McCallum: Well, I think the ball is now in Mr. Harper’s court. Michael Ignatieff has made it very clear that he doesn’t want an election. Mr. Harper is asking us to vote in favour of him spending $65 billion of Canadians’ hard earned money on Friday. I think the least he can do is answer four very reasonable simple questions and we hope that he will and then we won’t have an election.

Question: (Inaudible) batted that ball back in yours by saying you guys can either vote for it or you vote against it, it’s up to you.

John McCallum: I think he has yet to make his position clear. I heard a number of things that could be interpreted in different ways. I think the ball is now in Mr. Harper’s court. Mr. Ignatieff has made clear four very reasonable simple questions and we shall hear in coming hours or days the government response.

Question: If you wanted to know Mr. Harper’s position, why didn’t you guys ask him?

John McCallum: Well, Mr. Ignatieff laid out his position very clearly. We believe –

Question: Why not ask him in the Commons?

John McCallum: — we believe that the ball is now in Mr. Harper’s court. He knows the questions. He knows very clearly what the situation is. It’s up to him to tell Canadians whether he will accede to these very reasonable requests or whether he wants to take Canadians on a course for a summer election.

Question: But what does it say to you that he doesn’t even bother to gage (inaudible).

Denis Coderre: You have to look at the body language too. I think that, you know, look at Mr. Harper the way that he’s answering. I mean the ball is in his court so we, you know, we were pretty clear today and the question is very clear by itself.

Question: So you’re asking us to read his body language?

John McCallum: No, we’re asking –

Denis Coderre: No, no, Roger, you know as well as me what I meant by that.

Question: Well, I don’t know what you meant.

Denis Coderre: The guy can say, the guy – well, you should have come. Maybe you should run for us next election.

Question: Well, what were you reading from his body language?

Denis Coderre: What I read from his body language is that he’s buying some time so by buying some time we’ll see what – but it’s up to him to provide us the answer because we were clear if we’re not satisfied with the answers, well, you know what will happen this summer.

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