Canada's government falls after no-confidence vote

Louise Wells
Saturday 26 March 2011 01:00 GMT

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Louise Thomas

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has been toppled by opposition parties, but is likely to be back after an election in May. A no-confidence vote was passed last night by 156 to 145, triggering the country's fourth election in seven years.

Opposition parties accused the minority Conservative government of failing to disclose the full financial details of its tougher crime legislation, corporate tax cuts and plans to buy stealth fighter jets. The vote – engineered by the opposition Liberal Party and backed by two other opposition parties – stemmed from a ruling on Monday that the administration was in contempt of parliament.

Mr Harper's Conservative Party holds 145 of the 308 seats in the dissolving parliament and is likely to win the poll, expected on 2 May, but without a majority he will still be dependent on opposition votes in parliament.

Liberal Party leader, Michael Ignatieff hailed the "historic moment" and pledged to prioritise healthcare, education and care for the elderly.

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