POLITICS

Liberal Leadership Race: Joyce Murray Mocked By Tory Cabinet Minister James Moore (VIDEO)

03/19/2013 10:23 EDT | Updated 03/19/2013 10:23 EDT

Joyce Murray’s big moment didn’t go as smoothly as she may have hoped.

Like Justin Trudeau two weeks ago, the Liberal leadership hopeful was given the chance to kick things off in Question Period for the Grits on Monday afternoon. Sporting a bright red jacket, the Vancouver MP focused on former Tory cabinet minister Peter Penashue, who resigned last week over election irregularities.

Penashue, who also stepped down as a member of Parliament, will run in a Labrador byelection expected to be called within weeks.

“Why are the Conservatives now using taxpayer dollars to repay this dirty money, why is the prime minister reappointing this failed politician to run in the byelection and how can the public actually trust in Canadian democracy in the face of so much Conservative election corruption?” she asked.

The question was handled by Heritage Minister James Moore, who said Penashue has taken responsibility for the mistakes made on his campaign.

Then Moore hit back with a favourite Tory talking point.

“If she really wants to talk about electoral irregularities, perhaps she should go ahead and tell us where the $40 million in stolen sponsorship money went,” he said, to applause.

The minister even made several taunting hand gestures, suggesting that he was handing the floor to her.

“Mr. Speaker, that was a stretch,” Murray added.

Still, the exchange wasn’t quite as strange as the showdown between Liberal front-runner Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Trudeau was shouted down during his first attempt at asking a question in English and Harper nearly referred to Trudeau as a ‘minister’ — twice.

Federal Liberals will pick their new leader by April 14.

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