Canada faces possible new confidence test this week

Wed Oct 7, 2009 10:55am EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's minority Conservative government could face a new confidence test in Parliament this week, a minister said on Wednesday, but judging from recent voting patterns an election will most likely be averted.

Jay Hill, the Conservatives' House leader, told Reuters that a budget implementation bill now being debated in the House of Commons might come up for a preliminary vote this week. If it is voted down, the government would fall and the country would head to its second election in little more than a year.

The bill contains a popular home renovation tax credit that received the backing of two of the three opposition parties in a vote on a motion on September 18, and if just one of them backs it again then the government will carry on.

The biggest opposition party, the Liberal Party, has pledged to vote against the government on such confidence tests, no matter what, but it does not have the power on its own to force an election. If an election did happen, polls point to the Conservative government being reelected.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Peter Galloway)

 
<p>Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa October 6, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>