CBC Digital Archives

Stephen Harper addresses political turmoil in 2008

Nationally broadcast addresses from Canadian prime ministers are a rare occurrence. They usually happen only during times of war, constitutional or political crisis. The CBC Digital Archives presents some of the most significant historic addresses by Canada's prime ministers from 1939 to 2008.

media clip
Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes a short speech to Canadians during one of the most tumultuous weeks in Canadian political history. His minority government may be facing defeat in a looming no-confidence vote. That motion is delayed, but the opposition parties agree to a coalition under recently defeated Liberal leader Stéphane Dion. The coalition says they are prepared to form a government if asked by the Governor General. Saying that it is "a pivotal moment in our history", the prime minister asks for national television time to explain his government's position.
• The day after Stephen Harper's address, Governor General Michaëlle Jean cut short a state visit in Europe to return to Ottawa. She had a meeting with the prime minister and at his request prorogued Parliament until Jan. 26, 2009. This constitutional option suspended the current session of the House of Commons after just 16 days.

• Prorogation also suspends committee meetings and the introduction of bills. Any legislation introduced during the session is tabled until the prorogation or recess ends.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News Special
Broadcast Date: Dec. 3, 2008
Guest(s): Stephen Harper
Duration: 4:40

Last updated: October 22, 2014

Page consulted on October 22, 2014

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