WATCH: The opposition leader defended his party’s use of satellite offices on Wednesday.
OTTAWA – Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau are duking it out over the allegedly improper use of parliamentary resources for partisan purposes by New Democrat MPs.
The NDP leader insists there’s not “a scintilla” of evidence that New Democrats did anything wrong when they used their House of Commons budgets to pay the salaries of workers in satellite party offices.
Mulcair says Conservatives and Liberals are flogging the issue strictly in a partisan bid to reverse the NDP’s recent ascent in public opinion polls.
But Trudeau points out that the issue has been boiling for years and that it was independent House of Commons administrators who determined New Democrat MPs broke the rules.
The Liberal leader says Mulcair should own up, apologize and instruct his MPs to reimburse taxpayers.
The multi-party board of internal economy, which polices Commons spending, has ordered 68 current and former NDP MPs to repay $2.75 million for the satellite office scheme and another $1.2 million in free parliamentary mailing privileges used to send out almost 2 million partisan missives.
© 2015 The Canadian Press