Canadian PM Plans to Thwart Alleged Liberal ‘Coup’

Canadian governor-general Michaelle Jean — the acting head of state — said on Tuesday she would cut short a foreign trip and return to Canada to help resolve a major political crisis.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, trying to prevent opposition parties from defeating his minority Conservative government in a confidence vote next Monday, could move to shut down Parliament temporarily but needs Jean’s permission to do so.

Jean, who is in Prague, will fly back on Wednesday rather than Saturday. She is the personal representative of Queen Elizabeth, Canada’s head of state.

… The opposition Liberals, New Democrats and separatist Bloc Quebecois signed an unprecedented deal on Monday to bring down Harper and create a coalition government that would keep them in power until at least June 30, 2010.

The opposition says Harper is not doing enough to tackle the financial crisis.

Speculation is mounting that Harper — facing his worst crisis since first winning power in January 2006 — will seek to shut down Parliament until a budget the government has promised for January 27.

Ottawa says the coalition deal showed the opposition were twisting the rules of democracy. The Conservatives won a strengthened minority in an Oct 14 election.

“It used to be in Canadian politics that you had to win an election in order to become the prime minister of this country,” Heritage Minister James Moore said on Tuesday.

Natural Resources Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn on Monday called the opposition deal “a coup d’etat.”

via Reuters: Canada governor-general returns to tackle crisis


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