The federal Conservative government has fallen.
Opposition parties brought down the government on a non-confidence motion on Friday afternoon after a parliamentary committee ruling that found the Conservatives in contempt of Parliament. This makes the Harper government the first one in Canadian history to be brought down by being found in contempt.
The vote split down party lines and was 156 in favour and 145 against. The Election will take place 35 days after Parliament is official dissolved, which will happen on Saturday when Prime Minister Harper goes to see the Governor General.
In Skeena-Bulkley Valley, NDP incumbent, Nathan Cullen, has confirmed that he will be running for re-election. The Conservative Party has named a Terrace businessman Clay Harmon as their candidate. The Green Party has nominated another man from Smithers, Roger Benham as their candidate, and the Christian Heritage Party has nominated their deputy leader Rod Taylor.
The Liberal party has not named a candidate yet. According to the party, a shortlist of possible candidates has been made but that they were waiting until an election was actually called before naming a candidate. Corinna Morhart, a former Liberal Candidate from Prince Rupert has said that she has not been asked if she was interested in running in the election.
The Prime Minister said that he was disappointed by the vote and accused the opposition parties of putting political opportunism above economic recovery. He also warned that the opposition parties intend to form a coalition if the Conservatives get another minority, he did not mention the contempt charges and did not take questions.
Michael Ignatieff criticized the Prime Minister for not mentioning the contempt of parliament ruling, saying that by doing so Harper has illustrated his continuing contempt of democratic institutions.
“This tells you all you need to know about this man,” says Ignatieff.
Reporters asked repeatedly if Ignatieff would consider forming a coalition with other opposition parties, if the Conservatives get a minority. Ignatieff said that such questions were buying into the Conservative’s party line, but did not clearly answer them.
Gilles Duceppe said that Harper wanted an election, and that is what he got. He also said that the Bloq Quebecois would work with whomever they need to in the next parliament in order to benefit Quebec.
Jack Layton, positioned himself as a potential Prime Minister and set the NDP’s sights on defeating the Conservatives in ridings, rather than going after the Liberals which was the message in previous elections. Layton was also vague about the possibility of a Coalition with the Liberals after the election.
“Parliament is broken, and this is how we’re going to fix it,” says Layton.