Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has received approval from Governor General Michaelle Jean to prorogue the Canadian Parliament for about two months, up until the end of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the Prime Minister’s Office has announced today.

Under the prorogation, Parliament will resume on March 3, as opposed to January 25, when it was originally scheduled to return from the holiday break. The move to prorogue will strike any currently proposed legislation off the order paper, including the anti-crime bill that was proposed by the Conservatives as part of their election platform.

The move, which has drawn sharp criticism from the opposition, would allow the Conservatives to gain a majority in Senate committees, while also dodging criticism stemming from allegations of the abuse of Afghan detainees.

Parliament was prorogued once before in 2008, causing a coalition of the opposition Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois to collapse, and seeing then Liberal leader Stéphane Dion replaced with current leader Michael Ignatieff.

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