Glen McGregor, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, December 06, 2008
The lawyer who crafted a proposal for the Canadian Alliance and Bloc Québécois to work together in Parliament in 2000 said the Governor General would break constitutional convention if she allowed a Liberal-NDP coalition supported by the Bloc to replace the Harper government. The argument by Gerry Chipeur foreshadows a possible response from the Tories should the government fall after a confidence vote on its budget in January.
It also suggests that Conservatives may not readily accept a decision from Governor General Michaëlle Jean should she ask the coalition to govern and refuse Mr. Harper's request for an election.
The Alberta lawyer says his proposal had to be prepared because the only time the Governor General can choose a government comes after an election. She should not consider a proposal made after a government falls, as the Liberal-NDP coalition apparently intends to make, he said.
"It doesn't work in constitutional theory and convention because they are coming to the Governor General at the wrong time," he said.
"The only time the Governor General can look at one of these kinds of coalition agreements is when she is considering who she will appoint to make decisions for the country. The only time she can do this is immediately after the return of the writs."