Skip navigation

Martin proposes V-E truce

Globe and Mail Update

Prime Minister Paul Martin has proposed Canadian party leaders set aside their differences and travel to the Netherlands next week to attend V-E Day ceremonies.

The presence of Canadian politicians at ceremonies to mark the 60th anniversary of the Allies' victory in Europe.

Most recently Minister of Veteran Affairs Albina Guarnieri cut short a trip to Europe this week — returning to Canada after just one day in the Netherlands — because of what she called “political shenanigans.”

Earlier Mr. Martin also drew fire for cancelling his own trip overseas to represent Canada at V-E Day ceremonies because of the threat of a no-confidence vote faced by his fragile minority government.

On Tuesday, Mr. Martin proposed leaders of all parties travel with him to Holland early next week for services, a move that would avoid the possibility of a vote in the House of Commons in his absence.

“I'm also asking them, and I've advised their offices, to join with me in Holland on Monday to assist in the events that will be taking place there to honour the veterans,” Mr. Martin said following question period in Ottawa.

The proposal would see the leaders return to Canada late Monday night.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper has vowed that his party will try to defeat the Liberal government at the first possible opportunity even though some members of his own party have flagged the risk associated with forcing a fast election.

The Liberals' fortunes have faded in the wake of damaging testimony at the inquiry into the federal sponsorship scandal, although the most recent polls have suggested that Mr. Martin's government has since regained a slight lead over the Conservatives.

An official in the Prime Minister's Office told Canadian Press that NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe have said they will go if Mr. Harper agrees to go. Mr. Harper said after Question Period that he will go if the others go, according to Canadian Press.

Recommend this article? 0 votes

Back to top