Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally apologized to Michael Ignatieff on Friday for questioning the Liberal leader's commitment to crucial Canadian interests.
Harper, at the closing news conference at the G8 summit here, alleged that Ignatieff had suggested a new body to replace the G8 might be created that won't include Canada.
Harper, whose party has questioned his rival's commitment to Canada because Ignatieff lived three decades overseas, said Ignatieff should withdraw the remark.
"I think it's an irresponsible suggestion, and Mr. Ignatieff is supposed to be a Canadian."
But Harper quickly withdrew the remark after learning he had been misinformed by one of his media aides, Dimitri Soudas.
"During my press conference, I attacked Mr. Ignatieff for some things he had allegedly said about Canada and the G8," Harper said.
"I learned shortly after the press conference this was not a quotation of Mr. Ignatieff. I regret the error and I apologize to Mr. Ignatieff for this error."
Followed in the same article by this:
Harper, during a lengthy news conference at the conclusion of the three-day G8 summit, also denounced a report in a New Brunswick newspaper earlier this week saying he pocketed the Holy Communion host during the funeral at a Catholic church for former governor general Romeo LeBlanc.
"First of all, as a Christian I have never refused communion when offered to me. That's actually pretty important to me," he said.
"Somebody running an unsubstantiated story that I would stick communion bread in my pocket is really absurd and I think it's a real, frankly, a low point. This is a low moment in journalism, whoever is responsible for this. It's just a terrible story and a ridiculous story and not based on anything as near as I can tell."
Identifying the unintentional hilarity is left as an exercise for the reader.