NDP Leader Jack Layton said Wednesday that he will not make a snap decision on whether to back the rest of the opposition in calls for an election in the wake of Justice John Gomery's scathing report on the federal sponsorship scandal.
"We know an election is coming, the question of precisely when that election should happen is one that is certainly on our minds," Mr. Layton said following a caucus meeting in Ottawa.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has said he is ready to go to the polls any time but he also indicated again Wednesday that, because of numbers in the House of Commons, an election call depends on the rest of the opposition. Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe has also suggested that he is willing to go to the polls on the issue.
"We have a number of members who for health reasons their attendance is unreliable," Mr. Harper said.
"We simply don't have a certainty. Frankly, it's Mr. Layton who has kept the government in office and it is Mr. Layton who has to make that decision."
If the opposition is united, he said, the "issue is settled."
"We're willing to bring the government down but we're not willing to lose another vote."