|An RCMP officer watches over the armoured Cadillac limousine shipped by the RCMP to India on Nov. 5, 2012. Normally, host countries provide secure vehicles for the PM when he travels but, in India this week, the RCMP decided to bring ship vehicles from Canada to ferry Prime Minster Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen around Agra, New Delhi, Chandrigarh and Bangalore. (DAVID AKIN/QMI Agency)
OTTAWA — The NDP made hay Tuesday over armoured vehicles the prime minister is using in India, ignoring legitimate security threats in a country where a PM was assassinated, her son blown up and terrorism is a constant danger.
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair suggested that "in these times of restraint" spending tax dollars to fly a pair of vehicles to transport Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen, on a six-day working visit was excessive.
"If you're going to spend half a million dollars, and you think it's justified, then justify it, explain it. Don't hide behind other forces in government and say that it was their decision," he said.
Harper said the decision to bring the vehicles was made by the RCMP after it assessed potential security risks - threats that have been widely reported, including Taliban and al-Qaida cells operating on its border with Pakistan and Sikh and Tamil extremist groups inside the country.
"These are matters that are determined by the RCMP, operational police and security matters. The government -- the political wing of the government -- does not interfere in those things," he said Tuesday.
Mulcair said he "wasn't questioning the need to provide security at all times," but failed to mention that Canada is the only country on an al-Qaida revenge list that has yet to be hit by a terrorist attack - here or abroad. Canada made the list because of its role fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.
He made no mention of countless other attacks, including when terrorists stormed the Indian parliament in Delhi in 2001 and set off bombs and used automatic weapons to murder guards and staff.
And not a word about the fact that India was the source of the biggest terrorist attack in Canadian history when an Air India jetliner was blown up in 1985.
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot in 1984. Her son Rajiv was killed in a suicide bomb attack in 1991.