Mulcair accuses PM of sending thugs to probe EI claims

New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on...

New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa February 26, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Kristy Kirkup, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:59 PM ET

OTTAWA - NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of sending government thugs to people's homes in an attempt to blame employment insurance recipients, but Service Canada officials insist the practice is not new.

Mulcair, who admits EI fraud is problem in some cases, said the Conservative government is in the midst of trying to "condition public opinion" to blame worthy recipients.

Service Canada said Wednesday about 1,200 random visits are planned between now and the end of March. Officials said house calls are designed to get a progress update from those seeking work.

"The question is what is going on now is against everything that we stand for in a democratic society," Mulcair told reporters Wednesday. "Sending the Harper Macoutes into people's homes on a systematic basis without the slightest indication that something is wrong was aimed at producing exactly this result."


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