Protesters interrupted NDP Leader Tom Mulcair's book launch Monday to press him for a position on the Energy East pipeline, one day after he was dogged by questions about oilsands on the campaign trail.
Mulcair was reading passages from his autobiography, "Strength of Conviction," when a couple of people stood up and unfurled banners and shouted "Stop Energy East."
"If it is found to be incompatible with national action on climate change, will you say no to the pipeline?" one protester yelled as he was gently escorted out of the room by Mulcair's security detail.
"Of course we will," Mulcair replied. "That's what the whole purpose of coming in with a new system is: to make sure that we take into account climate change whenever we analyze a project."
Both Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau have said they don't trust the current federal pipeline review process and would introduce what they call stricter and more thorough analyses of proposed energy projects.
TransCanada's Energy East pipeline is particularly sensitive because the pipeline's projected route goes through several provinces.
The disruption was brief and relatively amicable; at least one of the protesters reappeared during the book-signing portion of Mulcair's event to pose for a photo with the NDP leader.
"We do care about Energy East," the woman told Mulcair as she smiled and posed with her arm around him.
Mulcair's team pointed out that their events are open to the public, unlike those of Stephen Harper.
The book launch — set to be followed by a similar event later Monday in Montreal — happened to be taking place in the Toronto Centre riding where author Linda McQuaig is running for the New Democrats.
Mulcair was forced Sunday to address comments she made on a CBC television panel, where she said curbing oilsands production might be necessary for Canada to meet its environmental targets.
Mulcair brushed off the flap by repeating his party's position that the NDP supports developing natural resources and creating markets for them as long as there is rigorous environmental review and safeguards are in place.
McQuaig was not at Mulcair's book launch in her riding. A Mulcair staffer noted the event was organized by his publisher, Dundurn Press, and not the party.
The NDP leader did not take questions from the media.