Harper welcomed back to House

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on...

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa April 1, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Mark Dunn, Senior National Reporter

, Last Updated: 6:46 PM ET

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper had no time Tuesday to bask in his role as the West's most outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin's putsch in Ukraine.

Instead, opposition MPs used Harper's first appearance in the Commons in nearly one month to whack him like a pinata for a stack of government and political miscues.

If the well-travelled Harper — fresh off a tour of Europe with a symbolic stop in Ukraine — was expecting a standing ovation for jousting with Putin over the annexation of Crimea, NDP and Liberal MPs didn't get the memo. Ukraine was not raised at all.

The opposition opted to pounce on a government swimming in controversy, a spurned Supreme Court nominee, the Fair Elections Act and charges a Tory bagman used government jets.


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