Stephen Harper’s 2004 letter to the Governor General

Media Releases
December 2, 2008
Stephen Harper’s 2004 letter to the Governor General
On December 1, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his “party will never consider a coalition with the Bloc Québécois” in response to the opposition parties’ proposal to form a coalition government.

This represents a dramatic change of heart on Mr. Harper’s part. Below is a letter he wrote in cooperation with New Democrat Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe asking the Governor General to consider precisely the action he is calling unconstitutional today.

September 9, 2004

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson,
C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
Governor General
Rideau Hall
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A1


As leaders of the opposition parties, we are well aware that, given the
Liberal minority government, you could be asked by the Prime Minister
to dissolve the 38th Parliament at any time should the House of Commons
fail to support some part of the government’s program.

We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together
constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We
believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give
you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the
opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising
your constitutional authority.

Your attention to this matter is appreciated.


Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada

Gilles Duceppe, M.P.
Leader of the Bloc Quebecois

Jack Layton, M.P.
Leader of the New Democratic Party

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