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A selection of quotes from the latest session of Parliament

OTTAWA – Some notable quotes from the last session of Parliament:

“This is a big deal. Indeed it is the biggest deal our country has ever made. This is a historic win for Canada.” — Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the Canada-EU trade deal, Oct. 18, 2013.

“I’ve violated no laws, I’ve followed the rules.” — Sen. Mike Duffy defends himself in the Senate on Oct. 22, 2013, two weeks before being suspended from the chamber along with former Conservative colleagues Patrick Brazeau and Pamela Wallin.

“It’s a non-starter. We should never even have sent this thing to a study.” — NDP Leader Tom Mulcair on the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline through British Columbia. On June 17, the federal government approved the pipeline proposal, subject to 209 conditions imposed by the National Energy Board.

“Certainly, we want to make sure that kids go to school full-bellied, but is that always the government’s job to be there to serve people their breakfast? Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so.” — Industry Minister James Moore in an interview Dec. 13, 2013, with Vancouver radio station News1130. He later apologized.

“I intend to lead my party, which is the only party that has a serious policy on the No. 1 priority of the people and that is the economy.” — Prime Minister Stephen Harper brushes off suggestions in a December 2013 interview that he will step down before the 2015 election.

“It is, thus, a Canadian tradition to stand for what is principled and just, regardless of whether it is convenient or popular. But, I would argue, support today for the Jewish state of Israel is more than a moral imperative. It is also of strategic importance, also a matter of our own, long-term interests.” — Harper in a Jan. 20 speech to the Knesset, the first by a Canadian prime minister.

“There are no more Liberal senators.” — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, after ousting senators from his party’s caucus on Jan. 29.

“I’m not leaving.” — Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino on Jan. 30 after coming under fire for his handling of a testy meeting with ex-soldiers.

“They’re loading the dice here.” — Mulcair on Feb. 5, complaining about the government’s newly introduced Fair Elections Act, which critics denounced as an attack on democracy that favoured the governing party.

“The so-called referendum held today was conducted with Crimea under illegal military occupation. Its results are a reflection of nothing more than Russian military control. This ‘referendum’ is illegitimate, it has no legal effect, and we do not recognize its outcome.” — Harper, speaking on March 16 after a referendum in Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula expressed support for breaking off and joining Russia.

“As I begin another chapter in my life, I leave feeling fulfilled with what we have accomplished as a government and a country during one of the most challenging economic periods in our country’s history.” — Jim Flaherty, resigning as finance minister on March 18.

“We will stand together and honour the strength of our men and women in uniform, we will honour the strength of the Canadian families who faced heart-wrenching loss, (and) we will honour the strength of our communities that supported them.” — Harper on March 18, greeting the final contingent of Canadian soldiers returning from Afghanistan, and declaring May 9 a day of honour for veterans of the conflict.

“We’ll respect not just the letter of the decision. We will respect the spirit of the decision as well.” — Harper on March 25 in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that declared Marc Nadon ineligible for one of the three high court seats reserved for jurists from Quebec.

“Today is a very sad day for me, for our government and for all of our country…. Jim will be sorely missed.” — Harper, after Flaherty’s sudden death on April 10.

“As minister of finance, Mr. Flaherty served his country with dedication and conviction, even as he faced mounting health challenges. As both a man and a politician, I will remember him for his pleasant demeanour and strength of character.” — NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

“Stephen Harper is trying to load the dice between now and the next election in his own favour. Never before in the history of Canada has a government tried to use its majority to unilaterally change Canada’s election laws with no support from any political party.” — NDP Leader Tom Mulcair on April 12, on the government’s Fair Elections Act.

“Beloved by all, Herb devoted a lifetime to his party and his country, in both good times and bad. He has left behind an immense legacy unmatched by most in Canadian history.” — Trudeau, after veteran Liberal MP Herb Gray died on April 21.

“Too often in the past, our Armed Forces have returned to Canada from their trials with little fanfare. Not so today. Canadians across the country came out in force, united in appreciation, to honour the bravery, heroism, strength and sacrifice of those who fought for freedom and security in Afghanistan.” — Harper on May 9, a national Day of Honour for veterans of the war in Afghanistan.

“This is nonsensical and it’s most likely unconstitutional. Why did the government turn down every single suggestion put forward to try to fix this bill?” — New Democrat critic Andrew Cash on June 11, discussing the government’s controversial proposed changes to the Citizenship Act.


“The NDP has respected the rules every single step of the way.We’ve been completely transparent with the House authorities … The NDP couldn’t have been more open about this.” — Mulcair, speaking about accusations that the party improperly used parliamentary resources to finance NDP satellite offices outside Ottawa.