Stephen Harper only attended 35% of question periods this year, lowest to date

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper has avoided more question periods from opposition in the House of Commons in 2015 more than any other year since first taking office in 2006.

Data from the Ottawa Citizen shows that Harper has only attended 35 per cent of his daily question periods this year.

In 2006, Harper attended 64 per cent of the question periods that last 45 minutes. There has been a steady decline ever-since, with a sharp drop between 2014 and 2015.

In the months of April and May, Harper attended 22 sessions, totaling in only 27 per cent of the two months, to date.

“When the prime minister is not in question period, he is promoting Canadian values and interests on the world stage,” spokesman Stephen Lecce said in an email to the Ottawa Citizen.

But Harper’s absence in these question-and-answer periods, have drawn criticism over the years.

With the introduction of his new web series “24 Seven,” Harper has dramatically reduced the number of press conferences and has successfully dodged questions from the media, limiting them to videos produced by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Question Period attendance record

 
Stephen Harper (since becoming prime minister)
2006 64.1%
2007 59.1%
2008 53.1%
2009 42.1%
2010 48.1%
2011 50.1%
2012 48.1%
2013 45.1%
2014 36.1%
2015 35.1%
Overall 48.1%
Tom Mulcair (since becoming NDP leader)
2012 70.1%
2013 61.1%
2014 58.1%
2015 52.1%
Overall 61.1%
Justin Trudeau (since becoming Liberal leader)
2013 42.1%
2014 38.1%
2015 39.1%
Overall 39.8%

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Behdad Mahichi is currently an Editorial Assistant at Vancity Buzz and a journalism student at Ryerson University. He writes about anything from entertainment and politics to his misfortunately extreme caffeine addiction.
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