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Auditor General's Report

NDP harps on Harper for $3.1B terror-spending records

By Daniel Proussalidis, National Bureau

NDP MP Nycole Turmel. (Andre Forget/QMI Agency)

NDP MP Nycole Turmel. (Andre Forget/QMI Agency)

OTTAWA - Losing $3.1 billion should mean having to say you're sorry, says the NDP as it hammers the government for a second day on an auditor general's report about poor record-keeping on anti-terror spending.

"Is the prime minister now ready to show some contrition?" NDP MP Nycole Turmel asked.

On Tuesday, the auditor general reported that he couldn't find records for $3.1 billion in government-wide security projects between 2001 and 2009, sparked by the 9/11 terror attacks.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said records were kept, but not the way the auditor general says they should have been.

"But all spending has been reported and accounted for, and the Treasury Board has accepted the auditor general's recommendation," Harper said.

With most of the poor record-keeping happening while the Liberals were in power, the Grits have been very quiet on the issue.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau refused to accept that his party might have dropped the ball.

"Certainly in the years following 9/11 there was a great emphasis on reacting and putting money out for anti-terrorism, counter-terrorism measures," Trudeau said.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Peter MacKay has stopped talking about lax security screening of outside contractors hired by National Defence - another problem the auditor general found.

MacKay ignored media questions Wednesday, casually bouncing an apple in his hand as he walked away from reporters.

Tory MP and former fighter pilot Laurie Hawn downplayed the findings.

"We need to hear those things and there will be improvements - not that big a deal," he said.



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