The Liberals and New Democrats signed an agreement on Monday to form an unprecedented coalition government, with a written pledge of support from the Bloc Québécois, if they are successful in ousting the minority Conservative government in a coming confidence vote.
The accord between parties led by Stéphane Dion, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe came just hours after Liberal caucus members agreed unanimously that Dion would stay on to lead the Liberal-NDP coalition, with support in the House of Commons from Bloc MPs.
The six-point accord includes a description of the role of the Liberal and NDP caucuses, which would meet separately and sit next to each other on the government benches in the House of Commons, Dion told a news conference alongside Layton and Duceppe.
Dion said he has advised Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean in a letter that he has the confidence of the Commons to form the government should Stephen Harper's Conservatives be defeated in a confidence vote.
The Liberal leader said the parties reached the accord after watching the "sad spectacle" of other countries' governments acting to counter the "unprecedented" global economic crisis while Harper's Conservatives "sat and did nothing."
"Given the critical situation facing our fellow citizens and the refusal and inability of the Harper government to deal with this critical situation, the opposition parties have decided that it was now time to take action," he said.
"We are ready to form a new government that will address the best interests of the people instead of plunging Canadians into another election." Source...