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Prime Minister Harper defends Chuck Strahl

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was pressed for answers in Question Period this afternoon, stemming from Friday’s resignation of spy watchdog, Chuck Strahl.

 “We learned that Mr. Strahl was moonlighting as a paid lobbyist for Enbridge – the same company that his watchdog was meant to be protecting” said NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen. “Mr. Strahl was forced to resign, but why did no Conservative recognize this blatant conflict of interest?”

Harper – surrounded by a rousing Conservative caucus – came to Strahl’s defence.

“Mr. Strahl was not only forced to resign, but the Ethics Commissioner said very clearly that there was not a scintilla of evidence that he had done anything wrong whatsoever,” said Harper.

“Chuck Strahl is one of the most honourable and decent people that I have ever worked with in Parliament,” Harper continued.  It is a shame that for the sake of his personal reputation, he is no longer willing to provide his services."

Prime Minister Harper appointed Strahl as chairman of the Security Intelligence Review Committee in June 2012.  Strahl delivered his resignation to the Prime Minister on Friday following two weeks of criticism over his private work with Enbridge while at the same time, serving the public interest in overseeing Canada’s spy agency.

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