Date
30 March 2017
Stephen Harper is seeking a fourth straight term as prime minister. Photo: AFP
Stephen Harper is seeking a fourth straight term as prime minister. Photo: AFP

Canadian PM calls Oct. 19 parliamentary election

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper dissolved Parliament on Sunday and called an election for Oct. 19, kicking off a marathon 11-week campaign, Reuters reported.

Polls indicate Harper’s right-of-center Conservative Party, which has been in office since 2006, could well lose its majority in the House of Commons.

That would leave him at the mercy of the two main center-left opposition parties, which could unite to bring him down.

Minority governments in Canada rarely last more than 18 months.

Harper, 56, says only he can be trusted to manage an economy struggling to cope with the after-effects of a global economic slowdown and a plunge in the price of oil, a major Canadian export.

Opposition parties favor “disastrous” policies such as higher spending and more debt, he said.

Harper said the election would be about “leadership on the big issues that affect us all, our economy and our nation’s security”, BBC News reported.

The Canadian dollar has lost more than 20 percent against its US counterpart over the past two years.

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