Separatists could back bid to topple Canada gov't

Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:04pm EDT
 
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By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's separatist Bloc Quebecois party, which holds the balance of power in Parliament, indicated on Wednesday it could back a bid to bring down the minority Conservative government.

The main opposition Liberal Party says it is ready to introduce a non-confidence motion late next month on the grounds that the government is not doing enough to help those who have lost their jobs in the economic crisis.

All three opposition parties would have to vote for the motion to topple the Conservatives.

Polls show neither the Conservatives under Prime Minister Stephen Harper nor the Liberals, led by Michael Ignatieff, are guaranteed of victory in an election now.

Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe accused Harper of ignoring the plight of the homeless and also attacked Ignatieff, who has backed Harper on key votes this year.

"If Stephen Harper refuses to change his policies to help people who are losing their jobs, and if Michael Ignatieff stops bending before Stephen Harper and assumes his responsibilities, a federal election could be triggered as soon as the start of October," Duceppe said in a statement.

The left-leaning New Democrats have already made it clear they would support a non-confidence motion.

Ignatieff threatened to try to bring down the government in June over the issue of extending jobless benefits. He then backed down, agreeing instead to the creation of a bilateral panel to examine how to change the Unemployment Insurance system   Continued...

 
<p>Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe gestures during a news conference in Montreal October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger (CANADA)</p>