Several hundred people attended a rally in Halifax Saturday to show opposition to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s move to suspend Parliament until early March.

The crowd chanted anti-Harper slogans outside the legislature and listened to speakers including Liberal MP Geoff Regan and former Nova Scotia NDP leader Robert Chisholm.

Many carried signs, bearing the NDP logo, that said Stand Up to Harper.

Demonstrations also took place Saturday in cities and towns across Canada.

“I feel what the prime minister has done by closing the House ... he’s shutting down democracy and that’s wrong,” Chisholm said as the rally began.

“All of the issues, whether it’s the economy, whether it’s our role in Afghanistan, it’s all about the people of Canada having their voices heard in our House of Commons.”

Harper has said he decided to delay the resumption of Parliament so that he could focus on strategies for the economy.

Critics have accused the prime minister of taking the action to duck opposition questions about his government’s handling of the Afghan detainee issue.

In Halifax, retiree Hazel Hanson said she attended the rally because she believes Parliament should still be sitting and the prime minister should be leading the charge on a variety of important matters.

“I’m just against him (Harper) sitting out while Haiti’s going on, Afghanistan’s going on — there’s so many important things,” Hanson said.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a Conservative government or Liberal, I’d be screaming if either one of them did it and I want them to get back to work.”