MONTREAL - Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is scoffing at the prime minister's latest justification for proroguing Parliament.
Ignatieff says Stephen Harper's claim that shutting down Parliament allows him to avoid instability as he prepares a new economic agenda is the "funniest thing in politics that I've heard in a very long time."
Harper made the comments in an interview broadcast Monday on the Business News Network.
The prime minister said financial markets are concerned about the stability of his minority government.
But the leader of the Opposition mocked Harper while speaking to reporters in Montreal on Tuesday.
"The idea that democracy creates instability is ridiculous," he said. "What does he want? To cancel Parliament altogether so we can have the stability of a prime minister without any limits on his power?"
Ignatieff also accused Harper of trying to operate outside the usual checks and balances of Canadian democracy.
"The reality is Parliament has to do its job, to hold the prime minister accountable," he said. "That doesn't create instability, that's just institutions working the way they should."
Ignatieff was continuing his cross-country tour of colleges and universities with stops at the Universite de Montreal and Concordia University.
His comments come as 175 academics signed a letter, published Tuesday in several newspapers across the country, which protests the government's decision to prorogue Parliament.