MONTREAL — It's not enough to fire people in the Prime Minister's Office who knew about the plan for former chief of staff Nigel Wright to repay Sen.Mike Duffy's disputed expenses, voters should also fire Stephen Harper when they go to the polls on Oct. 19, NDP leader Tom Mulcair said Sunday.
"I do think somebody should be fired for the whole Duffy/Wright affair," Mulcair said.
"And that's the person who named Mike Duffy to the Senate. It's the same person that hired that chief of staff, the person who was in charge of the Prime Minister's Office when the $90,000 cheque was written. That's the Prime Minister," Mulcair said in a reference to the payment that Nigel Wright made to cover Duffy's expenses.
Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau kept the Duffy fraud trial in the news on Sunday.
Both leaders were in Montreal to attend the city's Gay Pride parade, along with Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.
While Trudeau repeated a call for Harper to fire some of his closest advisers who knew about the $90,000 repayment scheme before it became public, Mulcair said he was not going to "go running after (Harper's) subordinates."
"On Oct. 19, Canadians will get the chance to fire the person responsible for that whole mess, and that person is Stephen Harper," Mulcair said.
Mulcair also criticized Harper for not being a "reliable" partner to the provincial leaders, and promised that, unlike Harper, he would meet them twice a year to ensure a good working relationship if elected.
"I believe it's a state obligation to have a good relationship with all the premiers regardless of their political party," he said.
Mulcair, Trudeau, Duceppe and May all walked near the head of the parade, and were quick to point out Stephen Harper's absence at the event.
Mulcair donned a flowered necklace and waved a rainbow flag as he walked with his wife Catherine Pinas, joined by a large contingent of Quebec MPs.
Mulcair promised an NDP government would address an "historic wrong" by correcting the service records and formally apologizing to military personnel and civil servants who lost their jobs over their sexual orientation in the past.
"There's a lot that the federal government can and should do to remove discrimination in society," he said. "Mr. Harper should show up at some of these events but it's clear from his systematic refusal to take part that it's not very important to him."
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