Various news services are reporting today that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will ask Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean to suspend parliament. Instead of returning as scheduled on Jan. 25, MPs wouldn’t sit in the House again until sometime in March, after the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver are over. Proroguing parliament would mean the Conservatives wouldn’t have to face ongoing questions in the Afghan detainee controversy. But the move would also kill bills that are only part way down the road to being passed into law, including tough-on-crime legislation the Tories have been accusing Liberal senators of stalling. Liberals are calling Harper’s gambit “a shocking insult to democracy” and NDPers “outrageous.” No official word yet from the Prime Minister’s Office—but no denial either. It would be the second time Harper has asked Jean to suspend parliament in an unusual circumstance: he prorogued in late 2008 to avoid being defeated in the House by a coalition of Liberals and New Democrats, supported by the Bloc Québécois.