BURNABY, B.C. — Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion flatly rejected forming a coalition government with the New Democrats today on the heels of hints from NDP Leader Jack Layton that he'd be open to the idea.
Mr. Dion, speaking after an address to a Vancouver-area business crowd today, said he could not work with Mr. Layton in this way because the NDP leader wants to hike taxes on business.
“We cannot have a coalition with a party that has a platform that would be damaging for the economy. Period,” the Liberal leader said.
He made fun of trouble plaguing some NDP candidates in B.C., joking that Mr. Layton
already has a lot of coalitions under way.
“Mr. Layton already has a coalition, I understand. He has a coalition with the nudist party [and] a coalition with the marijuana party,” he said, referring to NDP candidates who'd been outed as having smoked marijuana and one who'd resigned today after it was revealed he'd previously skinny dipped in front of teens.
About an hour ago:
OTTAWA — The Bloc Quebecois and the NDP have tentatively agreed to back Stephane Dion as prime minister, leading a coalition government, a senior Liberal source said late Friday.