It was a less tumultuous session of question period on Thursday than the previous day, but one that again had Prime Minister Stephen Harper refusing repeated demands for an apology from Liberals.
"Yesterday the prime minister in the House of Commons attacked my integrity and the integrity of my family. Now that he's had time to think, would the prime minister simply retract his remarks?" asked Navdeep Bains, the Liberal MP at the centre of the controversy that erupted Wednesday.
"Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure precisely what remarks he's referring to," Harper responded. "If the honourable member denies any particular element in that Vancouver Sun story I'd be more than happy to accept his word on the matter. But at the same time, though, Mr. Speaker, I can't say how important it is that we proceed with the police investigation on the Air India inquiry…."
controversy began during Wednesday's question period when Harper implied the Liberals were refusing to extend provisions in the Anti-Terrorism Act in order to protect one of their MPs. The provisions will expire on Mar. 1 unless both houses of Parliament vote to extend them.
Harper was accused of smearing Bains' reputation when he tried on Wednesday to quote a Vancouver Sun article that revealed Bains' father-in-law, Darshan Singh Saini, is on the RCMP's potential list of witnesses who could be compelled to testify at Air India hearings under the Anti-Terrorism Act.