Ignatieff rattles election sabre

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says the party will decide next week whether to try to bring down the Harper government and plunge the country into a mid-summer election.

OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says the party will decide next week whether to try to bring down the Harper government and plunge the country into a mid-summer election.

Ignatieff insisted Tuesday that he doesn’t want an election but said it’s becoming harder and harder to support the minority Conservative government.

“I’m trying to make Parliament work with a government that every day is displaying more flagrant examples of incompetence.

“Canadians don’t want an election. I don’t want an election but we have a problem — a serious problem about this government’s confidence.”

Ignatieff said he will assess the government’s second progress report on the economy, which he expects to be tabled next week, and decide then whether Liberals will introduce a motion of non-confidence.

Even if they do, Liberals cannot by themselves defeat the government. They would need both the Bloc Quebecois and NDP to join them.

The Bloc and NDP have consistently voted against the government for the last two years, secure in the knowledge that election-wary Liberals would continually prop the Tories up.

But the two opposition parties are less keen now that the Liberals, having edged ahead in opinion polls, are more inclined to pull the plug.

Ignatieff said he will not consult the other opposition parties before deciding whether to try to topple the government.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday that Ignatieff is pushing for an election now because he knows the economy is beginning to recover. The Liberal leader dismissed that assertion as “one of the more ridiculous things I’ve heard.”

He listed four issues which will determine the Liberal decision:

l The “major medical crisis” provoked by the shut-down of the isotope-producing nuclear reactor at Chalk River.

l The government’s refusal to adopt equal access to Employment Insurance across the country.

l The fact that only six per cent of infrastructure funds have actually started flowing.

l The ballooning federal budget deficit.

“Toronto Dominion Bank just announced that the deficit over five years will be, wait for this, $168 billion. That’s the biggest number anybody has ever heard of,” Ignatieff said.

“The public finances of this country are not under control, right?”

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty last week disclosed that the deficit for this fiscal year alone will soar to more than $50 billion — $16 billion more than projected just four months earlier.

Ignatieff also signalled that Liberals will not support the Harper government’s third attempt to impose eight-year limits on the terms served by senators.

Ignatieff said Liberals support parliamentary renewal and aren’t opposed to term limits in principle.

Just Posted

Candlelight vigil in Red Deer honours Sri Lanka Easter bombing victims

Dozens showed up to the event at City Hall Thursday night

Several Red Deer businesses’ phone/fax lines taken over by ‘spoofers’

Same ‘prank’ calls were made as happened with RedCliff RCMP

Red Deer apartment project opposed by some neighbours

Two buildings proposed for a site in Normandeau with existing four apartment complexes

Red Deer’s osprey cam celebrities are back

FortisAlberta has webcam set up at nest created as part of avian protection program

Red Deer PCN Women’s Fun Run introduces Community Diaper Dash

Central Albertans will make a dash in diapers to bring lunches to… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Local Sports: Clayton Pottinger reaching for new heights

There are times in anyone’s life when they make a decision that… Continue reading

Seniors: Smarter living for older adults

One of the major life transitions characteristic of aging is leaving one’s… Continue reading

Opinion: Schools can’t be exempt from scrutiny

This weekend’s meeting of the Alberta School Councils’ Association promises to be… Continue reading

Bishop now the Stars goalie trying to beat Blues in playoffs

Ben Bishop grew up rooting for the St. Louis Blues before being… Continue reading

Nashville gets its chance to step up for NFL draft

NASHVILLE — Broadway in downtown Nashville is as lively a place as… Continue reading

The Cranberries, still in mourning, return for the last time

NEW YORK — Whether or not there would be a final Cranberries’… Continue reading

Dance studio owner in dispute with Burton Cummings fined for noise ticket

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The owner of a dance fitness studio who… Continue reading

Most Read