Opposition takes aim at Harper's death penalty 'agenda'
Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks to employees during a visit to the Bell Textron plant in Mirabel, Que. on Friday, January 14, 2011. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The opposition is crying "hidden agenda" again after Prime Minister Stephen Harper mused in an interview that he favours the death penalty in certain situations.
NDP Leader Jack Layton suggested Wednesday that Harper is leaving room for a private member's bill.
"It was a bit of a curious answer," Layton told The Canadian Press Wednesday.
"What does that mean? Does that mean we're going to see a private member's bill instead of a government bill coming forward?"
In a CBC interview Tuesday, Harper said while he favours capital punishment he did not intend to put a bill before Parliament, even if he won a majority.
The Liberals responded by saying Harper's social views on issues such as the death penalty and abortion are being held in check by a minority government.
"I don't think Mr. Harper can be trusted on significant issues like abortion, capital punishment and for that matter, even gun control," Liberal MP David McGuinty said in a press conference Wednesday.
"Mr. Harper runs a nudge-nudge-wink-wink campaign on significant difficult moral issues for Canadians."
McGuinty dared Harper to bring the issue before Parliament.
"If Mr. Harper is genuinely in favour of capital punishment then he should say so and bring a bill to the floor of the House of Commons," he said.