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The Hamilton Spectator
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Thursday July 31, 2008
Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion should "fish or cut bait" on a fall election, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said during a speech delivered to Conservative party members in Quebec on Wednesday evening.

Harper said his opponent should stop delaying the current work of government with futile election threats unless he is prepared to force a vote, which Dion has recently hinted at.

"Either let the current Parliament work and let us get on with our mandate, or the voters themselves will decide," Harper said to about 1,500 people at the Saint-Agapit arena, southwest of Quebec City.

Some observers have suggested that following this spring's whirl of election rhetoric and with the release of the Liberals' Green Shift environmental plan in June, Dion is preparing to go to the polls this autumn.

Last week, the Liberal leader said Canadians seemed readier than ever for a vote.

But Harper, speaking in the midst of a Tory summer caucus meeting in Lévis, Que., said he and the Conservative party are ready for anything Dion wants to throw their way.

"Friends, I see Mr. Dion is challenging me to debate his carbon tax," Harper said in French, referring to the Liberal plan to impose a tax on emissions in order to reduce the use of fossil fuels by Canadian industries and homeowners.

"If Mr. Dion wants a real debate — not just among politicians but a debate open to everybody — all he has to do is follow through on his latest threat to force an election." More...

Harper challenges Dion to Force Election
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