Two variables could determine whether or not Canadians head to the polls sooner or later, according to local MP Nathan Cullen.
The federal budget and whether or not parliament finds this government in contempt of parliament.
If the Harper government is found in contempt of parliament, there may be a non-confidence vote in the House of Commons, but also the government could be forced into an election based on the upcoming budget if the opposition parties don’t support Harper’s minority government.
In Cullen’s bi-weekly media scrum and press conference, he said the Harper Conservatives have spent $26 million this month of taxpayer dollars on their ads and campaigning, suggesting the Conservatives are preparing for an election.
Cullen, MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, called the costly Conservative ad campaign “offensive to all” and said he remembered Stephen Harper campaigning against this very thing.
Cullen also questioned the lack of disclosure on the part of the Harper government about the actual costs of the proposed mega prisons and the new fighter jets for the military.
Cullen was critical of this spending by a conservative government, which should be more fiscally responsible but wasn’t willing to let anyone look at the numbers.
“They’ve withheld all these documents so long that it’s just impossible for us to do our work and judge whether any of these policies are going to work or what they’re going to cost,” said Cullen.
However, Cullen didn’t say the NDP won’t be supporting the government either.
“My perspective has always been you work with the parliament you’ve got until you no longer have it, you try to make it work,” said Cullen.
The NDP have made some requests for the budget, including security for seniors, environmental issues and taking the HST off of home heating costs.
If the Harper government makes some of these concessions in its final budget, then the NDP might be willing to support the government in the budget, but not at all costs.
“That being said, if parliament finds this government in contempt, essentially having lied – knowingly lied – to the Canadian people, it’s going to be really difficult to think about supporting them in any way,” said Cullen.