By a count of 156 votes in favour and 145 opposed, the House of Commons has passed a motion of non-confidence, thus defeating the Harper government.

The House is now adjourned.



  1. History made but not a positive 'first' for Reformatories in Canada's history books. Unforgettable, despite their desire to ignore and forget it, I'm sure, in the coming campaign!
    How the mighty "reformers" have fallen.

  2. 'For the first time in Canadian history, he said, a committee of Parliament has found a government to be in contempt.'

  3. And now the choice: uninspiring banality of Iggy or the craven contempt of Harper?

  4. yes, they've fallen all the way from opposition to being on the edge of a majority. boy, and what a meteoric rise for the Liberals. they rose all the way from government to irrelevance!

  5. I offer congratulations to my left leaning friends.

    Back in 2005 when the Liberals were voted down by a confidence motion, I didn't know who would win the ensuing election; but it certainly felt good to at least have that one day to finally say once and for all to a hated government: "Get out. You're done."

    So enjoy and savour this moment, as we conservatives did in 2005; this time around it would not surprise me if it were your only opportunity to do so.

  6. For Canada's sake, I hope you're wrong!

  7. On March 25, 2011, the Government of Canada was found in contempt of Parliament – the first time that has ever happened anywhere in the Commonwealth – and fell on the motion of non-confidence.

    And that folks, is that, the end of the 40th Parliament and the beginning of the restoration of Parliamentary democracy in Canada.

  8. Last time the PM had one of his lackeys phone the GG for dissolution. I'm wondering if they'll tweet it this time.

  9. "On the contrary. I am happy to draw attention to Harper's offensive attempt to rebrand OUR government in his personal name. And will do so at every chance."
    Did you get a chance to review the "Government of Ontario" website and come up with a better explanation as to why the "McGuinty Government" is used, as to date 26,410 times. & how this is not an "offensive attempt to rebrand OUR government"

  10. Did Harper show up for the vote? He skipped the debate and Question Period.

  11. when a Liberal does it its fine. when a Conservative does it its an assault on democracy and puppies.

  12. So which parties are making concrete proposals to restore Parliamentary democracy in Canada? Or is it just that Harper is evil, and everything will be great once there is a Liberal majority?

  13. I see it both ways here to often. I think blind partisanship & fake outrage bring nothing to the discussion.

  14. I'm really worried. I saw on TV that the global recovery is still really fragile. I just hope our democracy can withstand this.

  15. But some might say Reform/Alliance/Conservative – dare I say coalition – got there by selling their integrity if not their souls.

    Something about power and corruption might be appropriate but I think it more a case of the means justifies the ends for Harper and Company

  16. So you like Layton? I think it's time for a game changer.

  17. I think it is pretty arrogant of McGuinty too, if that is what he is doing. The website does refer a lot to the McGuinty government, but are press releases actually being issued under the "McGuinty Government" letterhead/headline? Did he issue a directive to civil servants to refer to the McGuinty Government instead of the Government of Ontario? Are official documents being issued and published by the "McGuinty Government" instead of the "Government of Ontario"? Is there a rule against doing such things in Ontario like there is federally?

    The website is pretty bad and I don't like it. But if the answer is no to those questions then it is comparing apples to oranges, or at least sour granny smith apples to sweet macintosh apples.

    And it remains completely unprecedented in federal political history.

  18. Problem is, at least at the national level, it's never been done. So your whining is moot.

  19. Yes

  20. Our democracy can, it's the economy that is in danger (according to Harper).

  21. That's been taken to be a criticism of the government, but why isn't it a criticism of an over-zealous and partisan opposition?

  22. A big part of democracy has already been restored with the multiple prima facie contempt rulings and the House finding the government in contempt, and finally showing some backbone to keep these clowns accountable.

    Beyond that, the Liberals have proposed a number of democracy enhancing measures. So have the NDP.

    Harper is not evil and the Liberals don't have all of the answers. But Harper has systematically and intentionally undermined some pretty fundamental aspects of accountability and Parliamentary democracy. Parliament finally stood up on principle and said enough. So it's not about the parties but about our democratic system and Parliament.

  23. Harper will go in person this time because he wants the photo op and chance to try to blame the election on the opposition coalition.

    By the way – I've suspending playing the "Opposition Coalition" drinking game on advice from my doctor. At least until the election is over.

  24. And what happens if there is an earthquake… somewhere!

    We really can't handle that either.

  25. Again, what a bunch of nonsense. Leave it to this current opposition bunch to take legitimate criticisms of the government and turn them into absurd and bitterly partisan attacks against a despised enemy. For shame.

  26. You know, Japan just had a tsunami. Is this really the time for an election?

  27. For the first time in the history of the British Commonwealth, a government has been found in contempt of Parliament.

  28. Oh no, that couldn't be. I distinctly remember him saying that if we were going to have any problems with the economy, we would have had them already. And he's an economist, you know.

  29. The government, sorry, The Stephen Harper Government (TM) refused on every occasion to do what the law required them to do, Dennis. After exhausting all avenues of holding them to account, the opposition is left with no option but to hold them in contempt and bring them down. It is in fact their duty.

    You yourself have written in this space countless times that if the opposition thinks the government is unaccountable they only have to pull the plug. Which is exactly what they have now done.

    The government doesn't get to decide whether or not to be accountable, when it wants to be accountable and on what issues it will be accountable.

  30. Uh huh, yeah, well, he's changed his tune. People do that, despite the fact that some people are not willing to allow them to do that. That being said, Harper did not admit that he was wrong about that, which probably would have gone a long way to dispelling the never ending barrage of comments like yours above. Oh well.

  31. He skipped out on the Milliken goodbyes, though he did shake Milliken's hand before sitting down and being found in contempt.

  32. Because the govt didn't cough up the docs…

  33. I think an astroid may have just hit a planet somewhere out there in the universe. We better pay close attention to any possible reverberations on our economy.

  34. Have Say Anything Steve or Deficit Jim ever gotten one single economic or fiscal estimate or prediction even close to correct? Ever?

  35. and that's worth "contempt" charges and a $300 million election is it? Whatever.

  36. Steve told us to buy stocks at the start of the recession, did you heed such sage advice?
    Sounds like i found "ever"!

  37. For what? Not fully costing future programs, as though they're the only government in Canada or elsewhere to do so? Some of you have failed to give your heads a big shake. As a result, I don't think it's going to be pretty for you. Just saying.

  38. Oh, bitterly partisan attacks are fine from a CON team but not from their rivals? How did you get that pot in the kettle?

  39. Harper will get one of his advisors' hoes to deliver it tied to a whip…

  40. I am quite sure that they have, it just does not get reported. And, just in case you really want to pursue this further, let it be known that the burden of proof falls squarely on your shoulders. It should not take you too long to go through every economic and fiscal estimate or prediction they have ever made.

  41. They found a dinosaur in the tar sands — election spoiled! At least Stockwell is happy for the chance to reunite his buried ancestors with their pet now…

  42. The chance of actually having a government that believes fully in democracy is worth the $300 million dollars any day. Its actually less if you factor in the temporary jobs created during an election.

  43. Ted, out of curiosity, are you still an Ontario PC supporter these days? I don't follow Ontario politics too closely, but I think the Hudak/McGuinty showdown later this year will be interesting.

  44. So they've been held in "contempt" and a $300 million election is being forced because the government didn't fully cost a couple of programs. This is sheer lunacy. I'm sorry. Good luck with all that. And the worst part is that so many of you have imbibed the kool-aid. You can't even see what you've done to yourselves. For the first time I can ever remember, the opposition is more out of touch than the government is. I never would have thought that that was possible, yet here we are.

  45. When such attacks constitute a bizarre justification for yet another election.

  46. Did you know the Spring is UNSEASONABLY COLD in many parts of the country right now!! And we are going into an election!!!!! I might faint. Think of the economy!

  47. McGuinty has brought on a whole heck of a lot of problems, big problems too. And I campaigned for John Tory in the mayoral race. But Hudak is worse and the party has become increasingly hijacked by the far right like Hillier. Same reason I couldn't be a Conservative Party member. There is no Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario anymore, no Red Tories.

    I'm probably closest to being a Bill Davis Tory, at least provincially. McGuinty is a long way off but he's also a long way closer.

    The campaign will indeed be interesting.

  48. Hunh?

    I don't think he has ever had an economic prediction or fiscal projection that has come close to being correct. It can't be found.

  49. a) Just because Liberals are out of power doesn't mean we don't have democracy in Canada. In fact, it's just the opposite.

    b) The chance of actually having a government that believes fully in democracy

    You think that's going to come from the Liberals or the coalition, do you? lol. Wow.

  50. I'm surprised there are 156 MPs who do not love the troops, because this election clearly puts them in danger.

  51. Oh I see, your just trying to score partisan points. My bad.

    And for the record, I was trying to point out that in order to prove your claim, you actually had to demonstrate that every instance of prediction and projection was in fact false. That is, your task is not to find one being correct, but show that all are incorrect.

    Similar too, though not exactly the same as, claiming that all ravens are black.

  52. I like John Tory, too. When you get down to it, we're probably not that far apart on most of the issues. Here's an interesting hypothetical for you: if Harper no longer led the CPC, is there any chance you'd consider a "Rocco Rossi" move at the federal level? ;-)

  53. Like I said, there is no Progressive Conservative Party anywhere anymore, federally or provincially. The social conservatives rule the roost.

    I'd have a hard time voting in the US. I could see being a Rockefeller Republican but same issue, they are being eclipsed by the social conservatives. That is where we are heading and why, federally, I end up with the Liberals – a centralist, moderate party.

    {P.S. Don't talk to me about Rocco Rossi.}

  54. It's just that I don't see the Harper Conservatives as being that much worse than the Martin (or for that matter the Chretien) Liberals. So I'm not convinced that replacing them will solve anything. I also think a lot of the outrageousness of the current government's behaviour is due to the seat distribution, and of course their willingness to behave poorly.

    Having said which, I'm not going to assume that an Ignatieff led Liberal government would behave as badly as the preceding three governments have, but I'm not that hopeful about it either.

    As an aside, I actually agree with the contempt of parliament vote, I'm not convinced it was made out of principle though …

  55. Even when you look yourself we get an' if that is what he is doing'
    Do you think the civil service decided on their own to start every news release "The McGuinty Government …." Funny that you never noticed before.

  56. The sun will burn itself out in less than one billion years. We don't have anything resembling a back up plan. THIS IS NO TIME TO LOSE FOCUS WITH AN ELECTION!!!!!

  57. The CRAP have truly lived up to their acronym.

  58. I'm a partisan Liberal. I won't be voting for McGuinty.

    Answer your question?

  59. You know, all the parties have websites. For example, the Liberal website has had policy on democratic reform up for at least three months and probably longer.

    It would be good if people like yourself took a moment or two to actually look, instead of blindly believing the word of the Conservative talking point robot, or wherever you get your misinformation.

  60. A government–not a political party on the campaign trail, but the actual governing government, "didn't fully cost a couple of programs" while simultaneously holding themselves out as good fiscal managers!

    This is contempt of parliament, this is contempt of Canadians, this is even contempt of common sense.

    But Dennis F doesn't get it. LOL! Says a lot about Dennis F.

  61. Oooh, yes, I can see the detox facilities being thankful that drinking game has ended.

  62. Oh, I like you! I love tedbetts, of course, but you actually got him, solidly, with wit! This may be a first on these boards, instead of the usual "yeah, but have you seen the polls" kind of response.

  63. It's just that I don't see the Harper Conservatives as being that much worse than the Martin (or for that matter the Chretien) Liberals.


    Where've you been the past five years? The pro-rogues, the refusal to give the Afghan docs, killing a bill in the senate and passing a fake fixed election law then breaking it were unprecedented. There was other bad stuff (and yes the Chretien liberals also played hardball and at times did shady things), but this is the stuff for which they MUST be shown the door.

  64. He gets it.

  65. What misinformation? I don't believe I claimed anyone had said anything, of course if you wanted to be helpful instead of being reflexively rude and accusatory you could always point me to the policy on democratic reform on the Liberal website.

    They claim to be committed to democratic renewal and have what seems like a worthy open government initiative (no sarcasm). However, I can't see anything that is what I'm looking for in terms of democratic reform, such as reducing the power of the PMO in general, and reducing the power and influence of both the PMO and the party machinery over individual MPs in particular. If I have missed seeing such policies then I would be grateful to be pointed to them.

  66. Well, I don't see this stuff as being unprecedented at all. In fact I would say that the behaviour of the Chretien and Martin governments was a clear precedent for the behaviour of the Harper government.

    If you want to make the argument that the behaviour of the Harper government has been worse then I wouldn't necessarily disagree (for what its worth I think they've treated parliament with more disdain but haven't been as bad in other ways), but I think its just a matter of scale.

    Let's put some arbitrary numbers to it. I'd be willing to accept that the Martin government was a 6 or 7 on the scale of poor behaviour with respect to parliament (where 0 is good and 10 is bad) and that Harper is an 8 or 9. I get the impression that you'd put Harper at 20 or 30, which is where we disagree.

    <edit> One more point, I don't intend to clutter the discussion with a list of bad things that I think the Liberals did under Martin and Chretien, but I think it would stack up pretty well with your list. One of the reasons I don't want to do this is because I don't want you to think I'm defending Harper because I'm not. I just think that you have a somewhat rose coloured view of how despicable the Liberals were before him. </edit>

  67. My apologies, John Edgar. First for my reflexively rude and accusatory comment (you were totally right on that) and secondly for mashing policy proposal and the open government initiative together in my mind, and thirdly for not looking at the website immediately before my comment to ensure I didn't do the second thing.

    We're working on it, in other words, but we're not there yet.

  68. Apology accepted, and thanks for it.

  69. I case you forgot. They're fighting for Democracy and freedom and for the right to have a voice. Kind of like what an election is all about!

Sign in to comment.