Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff called the decision by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to prorogue Parliament and muzzle the opposition "a crazy way to run a democracy," but he stopped short Friday of threatening to bring down the government.
Instead Ignatieff said all of his party's MPs and senators plan to return to work in Ottawa on Jan. 25, the date Parliament was set to resume before Harper shut it down until March.
Ignatieff, speaking from Ottawa in his first public appearance since Harper prorogued Parliament on Dec. 30 until after the Vancouver Olympics, said his party plans to return to work because that's what Canadians have told him they want.
"We're going to be working right until the Olympics because I feel that this is in response to the needs and wishes of Canadians," he said.
Ignatieff said the suspension of Parliament reflects a tendency by the prime minister to shut down or muzzle the opposition and government watchdogs when they criticize the government.
"Each and every time he seems in difficulty, each and every time he feels the pressure of democracy, he tries to have the work of this House behind me stop," he said.
"We think this is a crazy way to run a democracy."