eid ma clack shaw (mouseling) wrote in ontd_political,
eid ma clack shaw

Harper Suspends Parliament For Two Months

Tories planning new Parliament, to begin March 3

Prime Minister Stephen Harper asked the governor general to prorogue Parliament Wednesday and plans to begin a new session with a throne speech on March 3, his press secretary says.

Dimitri Soudas said the government will present a new budget on March 4.

According to Soudas, Harper spoke with Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean Wednesday morning by telephone.

Parliament is currently on Christmas break and MPs were scheduled to return to the House on January 25. But speculation has been rampant in recent weeks that Harper would ask to shut down Parliament until at least after the Winter Olympics in Vancouver are complete.

The move means a halt to the work of Parliamentary committees, including one that is investigating Afghan detainee abuse, an issue that has been plaguing the Conservatives for months.

"(Prorogation) has the great convenience of course of getting this government out of any kind of political trouble, because Parliament will not be sitting until after the Olympics," CTV's chief political correspondent Craig Oliver said.

Prorogation will also serve another purpose, Oliver said. Harper will likely appoint another group of new Senators, which will mean the Conservatives will finally hold a majority in the Red Chamber, and by extension, on Senate committees, Oliver said.

The Conservatives have been frustrated that the Liberal-dominated Senate has held up legislation already approved by the House, he said.

"So in terms of prime ministerial government power, they will come back to a very different Parliament, one in which the Conservative government will have domination in what has been for years a Liberal-dominated Senate," he said. "So that will be a huge advantage for them."

Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale called the move to suspend Parliament "a shocking insult to democracy."

Tags: canada, stephen harper
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