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The party leaders: Where they went and what they said on Monday April 11

Conservative leader Stephen Harper was on a campaign stop in Ottawa on Monday, but his party spent the day on the defensive after parts of a draft report investigating G8 and G20 spending was shown to The Canadian Press. Auditor-General Sheila Fraser’s confidential Jan. 13 draft says the government misinformed Parliament to win approval for a $50-million G8 fund that lavished money on questionable projects in Industry Minister Tony Clement's riding. In response, Conservative candidate John Baird said the $45.7-million G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund was used in part to build or improve on infrastructure linked directly to the summit, while the rest of the fund was a gift to the region. Ms. Fraser analyzed the $1-billion cost of last June's G8 summit in Ontario cottage country and subsequent gathering of G20 leaders in downtown Toronto and was to have tabled a final report in Parliament on April 5. Now it is not likely to be released until sometimes after the May 2 election.

The Canadian Press

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Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was at St. Lawrence College in Kingston on Monday to promote his party platform’s incentives for postsecondary education. There he responded to a QMI report that drew attention to his past comments about foreign elections as the Conservatives work to make an issue of his time spent abroad. “I’m a Canadian citizen. I’ve never been the citizen of another country. I’ve never voted – I can’t vote in the United States. But I’m a Commonwealth Citizen, so I have voted in a British election,” he told reporters Monday. He also lashed out in response to the Auditor General’s leaked draft report that said the government misinformed Parliament to win approval for a G8 fund. Mr. Ignatieff said Conservatives “spraying money around” in Tony Clement’s riding was common knowledge. “What we didn't know is that they lied to Parliament,” he said. “What we didn't know is that they may have broken the law.”

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NDP Leader Jack Layton was campaigning in Ottawa Monday where he also responded to the Auditor General’s leaked draft report into G8 and G20 spending. He repeated his call for a public inquiry into the lingering controversies surrounding last year's G8 and G20 meetings, saying Ms. Fraser's draft report makes the need for such an investigation even more urgent. He accused the Tories of “hiding facts from Canadians, leading Parliament down the garden path, and possibly breaking the law while doing so.

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Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe was campaigning in Montreal Monday where he attended a Quebec Federation of Labour meeting.

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