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Canadian lawmakers vote to dissolve government, call elections

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The House of Commons votes 156-145 in favor of a no-confidence motion
  • The vote means the nation's Conservative government will be dissolved
  • Elections will be held to form a new government

(CNN) -- Canada's House of Commons voted 156-145 on Friday on a no-confidence resolution aimed at the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, triggering the dissolution of Parliament and elections in the next few weeks.

Liberal party leader Michael Ignatieff sponsored the resolution, citing a recent House committee report that found the government in contempt for failing to provide lawmakers with requested information on its spending plans.

"The principle at stake in this debate goes to the heart of parliamentary democracy: the obligation of a government to provide members of this House with the information they need in order to hold the government accountable to the people of Canada," Ignatieff said in prepared remarks introducing the no-confidence resolution. "We are the people's representatives. When the government spends money, the people have a right to know what it is to be spent on. This Parliament does not write blank cheques."

The resolution automatically triggers elections to replace the Conservative-led minority government, which has ruled Canada since 2006.

The motion was ill-conceived, said Government House Leader John Baird, a Tory.

"The Liberal members over there claimed to have found that the government has done something wrong," Baird said. "What they aren't telling Canadians is that this was an opposition-stacked committee who used the tyranny of the majority to get the predetermined outcome they wanted."

The no-confidence vote was the fifth in Canadian history, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.