Harper calls byelections
OTTAWA—Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday called three federal byelections—a move Opposition leader Tom Mulcair says is an important warm-up for the clash of visions he expects in the next general election.
The votes—in Victoria, Calgary-Centre, and the Ontario riding of Durham—will be held Nov. 26 and have been called because MPs in each riding stepped down for various reasons.
He found the timing of the prime minister’s announcement curious, given that the Supreme Court of Canada will rule this week on whether Conservative MP Ted Opitz will continue to serve as MP for Etobicoke Centre.
“We were expecting the call soon but we’re a little bit surprised,” Mulcair told reporters yesterday.
“If he’d waited four days, we could’ve at least had that information from the Supreme Court.”
Mulcair, who took over as NDP leader last March following the death of Jack Layton, said his party intends to turn each of the current byelections into a referendum on the Harper government’s record—even in the Conservative heartland of Calgary.
“We’re going to fight hard in all of these byelections,” he pledged. “It’s the only way I know how to do politics.
“I don’t concede anything to an adversary—ever.”