Now is not the time for a general election: Harper
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, June 3, 2009 7:55PM EDT
QUEBEC - Canadians are not in the mood for a summer election, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday.
Harper, who was in Quebec City for a research announcement and a meeting with Premier Jean Charest, said the spate of elections in recent years is more than enough for Canadians.
He suggested his adversaries aren't even in the mood to "spend the summer fighting an election" and urged anyone who might be thinking about it to reconsider.
"You can certainly count on this government being against any kind of election in the near future," he said.
"I would strongly advise the opposition of the same thing."
What the public wants, he said, is action on the economy.
"I do think the public knows we passed an economic action plan, were in the process of implementing it and I think they want to see us get on with that work," he said.
"I think they want to see the economic recovery take hold and I think they want to have a good summer."
Election banter arose this week after Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff suggested he may seek to topple the government after it tables its second progress report on the economy.
Though he insisted he doesn't want another election, Ignatieff said it's becoming tough to support the Harper Conservatives.
The medical crisis provoked by the shut-down of the isotope-producing reactor at Chalk River, the government's refusal to adopt equal access to Employment Insurance, the delay in disseminating infrastructure funds and the growing federal budget deficit are all expected to factor into the Liberal decision.
Harper's election comments were made shortly after he announced his Conservative government is contributing $12 million to a national optics institute.
The Institut national d'optique will use the money for research and development.
The institute, which has 225 employees, is involved in various fields of optics and photonics, including lasers and 3D sensors.