Canadian PM Stephen Harper doesn’t want summer election

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday he doesn’t want to see Canadians go to the polls this summer or in the near future in the midst of a global recession.

“I don’t for the life of me know why, when we are just beginning to see emergence from this recession in Canada in a relatively strong position, we would want to throw this country into another round of political instability,” Harper told reporters in Quebec City.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Tuesday he might force an election, citing the “flagrant incompetence” of the Conservative government, notably on the front of the medical isotopes shortage caused by the shutdown of the nuclear reactor at Chalk River, Ont.

“I don’t meet anyone of any political persuasion who wants to spend the summer fighting an election,” Harper said.

“So you can certainly count on this government being against any kind of election in the near future. I would strongly advise the Opposition of the same thing,” he added.

A potential triggering event for an election could be a confidence vote set to occur when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty presents his second quarterly budget update — the Opposition calls it a report card — to the House of Commons. That could happen as early as next week but the Conservatives may push it back to the week of June 15.

The House is set to recess for the summer on June 23.


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