OTTAWA, March 25 (KATAKAMI.COM / Xinhua) — The Canadian House of Commons passed Friday a non-confidence motion tabled by opposition parties, defeating the ruling Conservative government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper for contempt of Parliament, Xinhua reported.
The motion, which was put forward by Liberal Party and backed by the other two parties, Bloc Quebecois and New Democratic Party, was passed by a vote of 156 to 145 in the afternoon, making the Harper government the first one defeated for being in contempt of Parliament in Canada’s history.
In his delivery of the motion, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff accused the government of refusing to provide Members of Parliament with the information they need in order to hold the government accountable to the people of Canada.
On Wednesday, after all three parties rejected the Tories’ federal budget, Ignatieff unveiled the motion that said Canadians had lost confidence in the government.
He said that the government is in contempt of Parliament for refusing to supply enough information on the cost of the F-35 fighter jets procurement, their justice system reforms and their projections for corporate profits and tax rates.
“For four months, we demanded to know how much Canadian taxpayers were being asked to pay for fighter jets, for prisons, and for corporate tax breaks,” Ignatieff said, adding that other information, including budget documents, were stonewalled by the government on excuse of national security.
“After five years of Conservative government, it is time to say enough is enough,” he concluded, claiming that the Harper government is out of touch and out of control.
In his response, the Conservative Government House Leader John Baird fired back that the opposition parties are trying to grab power by forming a coalition to topple the government in regardless of Canada’s vulnerable recovery from the global economic recession.
Baird said his government, which have created 430,000 jobs and boosted Canada’s GDP growth by 1.5 percent since 2009, does not want an “unnecessary” election which will cost some 400 million Canadian dollars.
According to the procedure, Prime Minister Harper is expected to visit the Governor General David Johnston on Saturday to ask him to dissolve Canada’s 40th Parliament.
Canadians, aged 18 and above, will go to the polls on a date as early as on May 2 for a federal election, the fourth one in seven years, as all of the parties have been working to get ready for a campaign, including preparations for campaign buses, candidate signs and drafting key messaging strategies.
Latest polls show that the Conservative Party enjoys some 40 percent plus support, a rate which is advanced than other parties but still below the majority government level. (*)