...The Liberals, New Democrats and the Bloc Québécois signed an agreement on Monday to form an unprecedented coalition government if they are successful in ousting the minority Conservative government in a coming confidence vote....
Dion said the parties reached the accord after watching the "sad spectacle" of other countries' governments acting to counter the "unprecedented" global economic crisis while Harper's Conservatives "sat and did nothing."
"Given the critical situation facing our fellow citizens and the refusal and inability of the Harper government to deal with this critical situation, the opposition parties have decided that it was now time to take action," he said.
"We must try to make this Parliament work."
Layton said a proposed economic package, which is part of the accord, is "prompt, prudent, competent and, most important, effective."
The NDP leader also called on the prime minister to "accept this gracefully" and not bring further instability by fighting the verdict of his colleagues in the House.
The proposed coalition cabinet will be composed of 24 ministers and the prime minister. Six of these ministers will be appointed from within the NDP caucus.
The accord will expire on June 30, 2011, unless it is renewed. It includes a "policy accord" to address the "present economic crisis," which states that the accord "is built on a foundation of fiscal responsibility."
Parliament is due to vote on a Liberal no-confidence motion on Dec. 8. If Harper's government were to lose a confidence vote, Dion would request that Jean approve the proposed plan to form a coalition government.
Governor General, who is currently on a state visit in Europe, could also decide to send Canadians to the polls for a second time in less than two months.
The prime minister could also still block coalition efforts by proroguing Parliament, that is, suspending it without dissolving it.