OTTAWA - An unapologetic Prime Minister Stephen Harper is defending his embattled natural resources minister and dismisses the storm of criticism over Lisa Raitt as "cheap politics."

The opposition parties attacked the Conservatives in the Commons with demands for Raitt's resignation over her description of the shortage of isotopes used in cancer tests as a "sexy" issue.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says the only cheap politics at play is a minister viewing a health crisis as an opportunity for career advancement.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe complains that neither Raitt, nor the prime minister have offered an apology for the comments.

NDP Leader Jack Layton says there's nothing sexy about cancer and it's shocking there's been no apology.

Cancer survivors and their supporters say they are astounded by the callousness of the comments.

Harper said Raitt has been at the forefront of trying to sort out the isotope shortage and "no one has worked harder" to solve the problem.

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