LOL ... These white boys don't play.



The Canadian Press reported news of the motion as representatives for the Liberals, New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois met to discuss the possibility of forming a coalition government.

CTV's Ottawa Bureau chief Robert Fife broke the news on Friday morning that former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien and former NDP leader Ed Broadbent were meeting to discuss toppling the government and forming a coalition.

If the opposition parties can agree to a "viable Liberal-NDP coalition with the support of the Bloc Quebecois" then there is a very strong likelihood that they might try to defeat the government,' Fife reported on Friday afternoon.

The Liberal motion, which has the approval of the NDP and Bloc Quebecois, reads:

"In light of the government's failure to recognize the seriousness of Canada's economic situation and its failure in particular to present any credible plan to stimulate the Canadian economy and to help workers and businesses in hard-pressed sectors such as manufacturing, the automotive industry and forestry, this House has lost confidence in this government and is of the opinion that a viable alternative government can be formed within the present House of Commons."

News of the motion broke as Conservatives backed away from including a thorny plan to slash public funding for political parties in a confidence vote on the fall fiscal update.

"Negotiations are still going on. ... It changes every hour, I'm starting to wonder if this is going to be serious now given the fact that the political financing thing was the fuse that started it all is being pulled out of the ways and means," Fife said.

Now it's "unlikely they are going to defeat the government on a ways and means motion because of the effect it would have on seniors," Fife said.

The fiscal update included a measure to reduce the minimum withdrawal amount from Registered Retirement Income Funds by 25 per cent, to help seniors access those funds in more manageable amounts.

Kory Teneycke, communications director for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, confirmed Friday that the controversial funding measure won't be included in the bill coming before Parliament on Monday.

"The vote that will be taking place on the ways and means motion on Monday actually does not contain changes to the political subsidy," he told CTV Newsnet, noting it would come forward in a separate bill.

However, he insisted the Conservatives were still "moving forward" with the fiscal update unveiled Thursday.

"We're moving forward, we're focused on the economy and we're not anticipating changing our agenda," Teneycke told CTV Newsnet.

He said the opposition parties' steps towards forming a coalition, less than two months after the federal election, is "an appalling affront to democracy."

"What we're hearing now with respect to a possible coalition government is really quite unprecedented," Teneycke said. "We have opposition parties -- the Liberal party that received its smallest percentage of votes since Confederation -- that is aiming to take power through the back door along with the separatists and the NDP."

Party stalwarts brokering deal

The urgent and high-level negotiations between the opposition parties began Thursday night after the Liberals and NDP -- along with the Bloc Quebecois -- rejected Flaherty's economic update.

"Under this deal the Liberals would form the government, the NDP would sit in it with cabinet seats and the Bloc Quebecois would support this new NDP-Liberal coalition from outside the government," said Fife.

Liberal MP Michael Ignatieff is the most likely choice to lead the coalition, Fife told CTV's Canada AM.

As a confidence measure, the Conservatives' bill must pass when it comes to the House of Commons on Monday, or the government will fall. In that case, the opposition parties would have to meet with Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean and convince her they had solid footing to form a coalition.

Jean is currently in Europe, but the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada could act on her behalf.

"Unless the prime minister backs down, the government will be defeated, the opposition will form a pact, they will go to the Governor General and they will say that rather than call an election, the Liberals should be given an opportunity to win the confidence of the House of Commons," Fife said.

"It seems very unlikely the Governor General could refuse that request because there will be a formal deal."

As he arrived at Parliament Hill on Friday, Broadbent told Fife it's no secret there's a good possibility the government will fall.

"It's a very uncertain situation right now that the Tories have brought on themselves with their economic statement," Broadbent said.

"I heard from the business community this morning, and they're unhappy with it, all the opposition parties are unhappy with it, so there's no question serious discussions are going on, but that's all I can say."


OTTAWA–NDP Leader Jack Layton and Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion have signed an historic accord to form a coalition government to replace Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

In an extraordinary scene on Parliament Hill late this afternoon, Dion and Layton signed a formal deal to work together through to June, 2011.

And they signed an agreement with Bloc Quebecois Gilles Duceppe that commits the separatist party to support the coalition through to June, 2010.

Liberal leader Dion would serve as prime minister.

The opposition parties are threatening to defeat the Conservatives next week.

However, their plan to assume government would require the blessing of the Governor General.

Two senior Conservative cabinet ministers emerged from a meeting with Harper within an hour of the coalition’s news conference and framed the coalition as “undemocratic.”

Jim Prentice, Harper’s de facto deputy prime minister and chairman of the government operations cabinet committee, said everyone should "take a breath and pause,” and think about what’s in the best interests of Canadians.

“This is an attempt to impose an alternative government upon Canadians, a government that was not elected barely six weeks ago, and a government – a coalition – that is supported by separatists, people who would break up our country.

“This is a serious situation that is irresponsible, and it is undemocratic.”

Prentice said the government will consider all "steps that are reasonable to protect the interests of our country and the interests of Canadians particularly in these uncertain economic times.”

“There is a need for calm, there is a need to step back, appraise the situation...and consider what is in the best interests of our country at this point in time and that clearly does not involve a government that was not placed before Canadians, propped up by separatists who do not support our country governing Canada for the next year or more.”

He refused to outline what options the government would consider reasonable in such an “unprecedented” situation.

Under the deal, the Liberal caucus would be responsible for choosing the finance minister, a key role as the country faces economic storms.

The NDP would get six positions in the 24-member cabinet as well as six parliamentary secretary positions.

Dion will serve as leader until a Liberal leadership convention in May. Liberals Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae and Dominic LeBlanc, all candidates for the party leadership, appeared together to show support for the decision.

Ignatieff told reporters that the ongoing race would not preclude any of the contenders from serving in a coalition cabinet.

Ignatieff and Dominic Leblanc said it was the prerogative of the prime minister to choose.

"The decisions on who is in cabinet are made by the prime minister of Canada, they’re not made by me, they’re not made by Dom and they’re not made by Bob," said Ignatieff.

"And that’s very clear in the accord that’s to say the authority and the prerogatives of the prime minister have not been compromised. It’s up to Mr.Dion to make the choices that he feels are right for the country."

Leblanc responded "Michael is always right!"

Layton said the coalition would move with a stimulus package that is "prompt and prudent."

That plan includes infrastructure spending, home construction, renovations and financial support for "struggling sectors" that can demonstrate a viable business plan.

He urged Harper to accept his looming defeat "gracefully" and not make moves that create "further instability and delay."

Duceppe said his party would not introduce any non-confidence motions or vote against any budgets or speeches from the throne until the agreement expires but would be free to vote as it wishes on any other legislation.

Conservatives appeared stunned by the turn of events, even as the coalition was confirmed.

Heritage Minister James Moore said in French the Opposition parties campaigned in the fall against forming a coalition, and now they were reversing themselves, but in French, he did not press the argument against the dangers of “separatists.”

"If the three Opposition parties are proud of what they’ve done today, if they are confident they are on the side of the angels, and on the side of Canadians,” said Moore, “they should ask Canadians for a mandate to impose what they decided today.”

“They should have the courage to put this before the Canadian people and none of them will.”