Mulcair and Trudeau grill Harper over Duffy scandal: transcript

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Opposition and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair grilled Prime Minister Stephen Harper in what was called a "question period for the ages" by veteran political reporter Karl Neremberg. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau also peppered the Prime Minister with questions about the Senate scandal. 

Harper held fast to his position that he wasn't aware of his former chief of staff's payment to Senator Mike Duffy until May 15, but appeared shaken on a few occasions, including when Mulcair repeatedly pressed him whether or not the payment to Duffy was ever discussed in cabinet. The Prime Minister deflected the questions, but would not deny it.

Mulcair also pointed out a discrepancy in Harper's claims that he had never seen the cheque from former chief of staff Nigel Wright: if he had indeed never seen it, then how he could he say with certainty that it was Wright's personal cheque? 

Below, the transcript of the exchange:  

    Mr. Speaker, on what date and at what time was the Prime Minister informed that Nigel Wright had made a payment to Conservative Senator Mike Duffy?


    Mr. Speaker, I have been very clear on this question. This matter came to my attention two weeks ago, after speculation appeared in the media.

     On Wednesday, May 15, I was told about it. At that very moment, I demanded that my office ensure that the public was informed, and it was informed appropriately. 

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP)

    Mr. Speaker, when did the Prime Minister first speak with Nigel Wright about Mike Duffy's expenses?


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