His remarks Tuesday were immediately blasted by a senior Liberal MP, who accused the prime minister of using the Japanese tragedy for “cheap, partisan purposes” and that the disaster has nothing to do with the decision Canadian MPs will soon make over whether voters should go to the polls.The thing is McQuinty took the remark out of context. PM Harper was responding to a question from a reporter on how the tragedy in Japan could possibly affect our economy. Here is what the PM actually said.
“Well, we’re obviously looking at all those things very carefully,” he said. “Our first concern, in fairness, is with all of those people who have lost their lives, and obviously all of their families and literally at this point, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people who are homeless.Turn this around. Who is using the PM's remarks for "cheap partisan purposes?" David McQuinty, listen to yourself! Aren't you being partisan?
“So our first concern as a government is anything we can do to help Japanese authorities with this crisis.”
As for the wider implications of the disaster, Harper said the global economic impact remains unknown. He said he didn’t think there would be any “immediate economic impacts” on Canada, although he noted that the stock market took a hit.
“All of these things should remind everybody, should remind everybody in Canada and should remind all the parties in Parliament that the global economy remains extremely fragile,” said Harper.
“It does not take very much to make us all — not just in Canada, the United States all around the world — to make everybody very worried about what’s coming next in the economy.
“We’ve been through a difficult time. It’s getting better. It’s still quite fragile. So I don’t want to predict how that’s going to unfold. I think the Japanese will find their way of coping, but the fact of the matter is this should be a wake-up that we cannot afford to take our focus off the economy and get into a bunch of unnecessary political games. Or, as I said, an opportunistic, unnecessary election that nobody is asking for.”