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Stephen Harper says he will ask the Governor General to prorogue Parliament, which means the House of Commons likely won't ...
resume in September. The prime minister says a throne speech is planned for some time in October.
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Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he plans to ask the Governor General to prorogue Parliament, which means federal MPs won't be gathering in the House of Commons next month as originally scheduled.The government will instead deliver a throne speech some time in October, kicking off a new parliamentary session, Harper said Monday during his week-long swing through northern Canada.``There will be a new throne speech in the fall,'' Harper said during a news conference in Whitehorse.``Obviously, the House will be prorogued in anticipation of that. We will come back _ October is our tentative timing _ and we will obviously have some unfulfilled commitments that we will continue to work on.''The time has come for a new parliamentary agenda because most of the promises the Conservatives made in the last election have been fulfilled, Harper said. The economy will remain the primary focus, he added.``The No. 1 priority for this government, I do not have to tell you, will continue to be jobs and the economy.''Harper was also asked whether he would be leading the Conservatives into the next election, a question that elicited a chuckle from the prime minister.``The answer to the last question is, of course, yes,'' he said as partisan supporters cheered.``I'm actually disappointed you feel the need to ask that question.''It's not the first time Harper has used prorogation, a standard parliamentary tool that has the effect of cancelling the bulk of any legislation that's still before the House.In December 2008, Harper prorogued rather than face a vote of non-confidence when his Conservatives held a minority government and the Liberals, New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois were threatening his grip on power.He prorogued again the following year, halting House of Commons committee hearings into the treatment of Afghan detainees and killing a number of pieces of legislation.Prorogation jumped into the headlines again last fall when then-Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, embroiled in a number of scandals, resigned as Liberal leader and called a halt to business at the provincial legislature.In Ottawa, Senate reform legislation is just one of several bills that will die on the order paper.