OTTAWA - Four federal byelections have been cancelled following Prime Minister Stephen Harper's election call this morning.

The byelections were scheduled to take place in two Ontario ridings, Guelph and Don Valley West, and two Quebec ridings, Saint-Lambert and Westmount-Ville-Marie.

Harper pulled the plug on his minority government by asking Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to dissolve Canada's 39th Parliament after 31 months of Conservative rule.

The Oct. 14 election will be the third time in just over four years that Canadians go to the polls.

In calling the election, Harper ignored his own fixed-election-date law, which he pitched as a means of stopping prime ministers from calling snap votes when the political tide felt favourable.

Harper argued that Parliament had become dysfunctional and a fresh government mandate was needed.