The prepared text of the Prime Minister’s statement outside Rideau Hall this morning.
“In light of yesterday’s disappointing events I met with His Excellency the Governor General, and he has agreed that Parliament should be dissolved.
“Before I say anything else, I would like to begin by thanking Canadians for the confidence and trust they have given me and my colleagues over the past five years.
“It has been a privilege and honour to serve as Prime Minister of the best country in the world as together we faced the most difficult days of the global economic recession.
“At the same time, because of the great challenges that still confront us I understand that our job is not done.
“Today the world economy remains fragile. The risk of a new international debt crisis is still with us. Armed conflict, political turmoil and humanitarian disasters in the Middle East and elsewhere have serious potential consequences for the global recovery.
“Against this backdrop of growing economic risk, and against our advice, the opposition parties have chosen to force an election the country doesn’t want; an election the economy doesn’t need.
“They have deliberately chosen to halt the implementation of the Next Phase of our Economic Action Plan, a plan that has thus far allowed Canada to emerge from the global recession in a much better position than most other countries.
“To my fellow Canadians I say this: the opposition parties have made their choice. Now we Canadians get to make ours.
“On May the 2nd, we will choose between stable national government and a reckless Coalition; between a low-tax plan for jobs and growth, and a high-tax agenda that will stall our recovery, kill jobs and set families back.
“Canadians need to understand clearly, without any ambiguity: unless Canadians elect a stable, national majority, Mr. Ignatieff will form a Coalition with the NDP and Bloc Québécois. They tried it before. It is clear they will try it again. And, next time, if given the chance, they will do it in a way that no one will be able to stop.
“We need to ensure that our government is stable, national and wholly committed to the unity of our country.
“Imagine a coalition of arch-centralists and Quebec sovereignists trying to work together.
“The only thing they’ll be able to agree on is to spend more money and to raise taxes to pay for it. We’ve all got too much at stake. Now is not the time for political instability.
“Now is not the time for economic uncertainty. And now is most certainly not the time for higher taxes.
“For Conservatives, economic recovery is our focus; economic recovery is our plan; and we will continue to use each and every day of a renewed mandate to complete our economic recovery, to provide growth, jobs and financial security for Canadian families.
“The outcome of this election will therefore impact each and every Canadian with a job to find or a job to keep; a home to buy or a mortgage to pay; a retirement to fund or a business to build.
“During this campaign, our focus will be on these Canadians: real people with real priorities who never wanted this election in the first place, who only want the economic recovery to be completed and political stability in Ottawa so they can have financial security at home.
“We will be asking Canadians for a renewed mandate to:
- Implement the Next Phase of Canada’s world-leading Economic Action Plan to protect and create jobs as outlined in the Budget.
- To make life easier and more affordable for working families, the people who work hard and play by the rules.
- To make our streets safer, putting the rights of victims ahead of criminals.
- And to stand on guard for our country by cracking down on human smuggling and strengthening our Arctic sovereignty.
“Canada is coming out of the global economic crisis with a clear economic advantage.
“Today, the world looks to Canada. And this is something we should all be proud of. We can protect this advantage. We can complete our economic recovery. And we can keep taxes down.
“And so I ask Canadians for their support. I ask Canadians: who can deliver the stable national government that Canada needs to complete our economic recovery and keep taxes down?