Timeline of the 2011 Canadian federal election

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This article outlines the events leading up to the 41st Canadian federal election of May 2, 2011, starting with the prior election.

  • October 14, 2008: Elections held for members of the House of Commons in the 40th Canadian Parliament.[1]
  • November 4, 2008: Writs returned to the Chief Election Officer.[1]
  • November 18, 2008: 40th Parliament first convenes.[2]
  • December 1, 2008: The Liberals and NDP sign agreement[3] on proposed coalition government to replace the governing Conservatives under Prime Minister Harper.[4]
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
  • December 1, 2008: The Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Québécois sign "policy accord"[5] whereby the Bloc would support a Liberal/NDP government for at least 18 months.[4]
  • December 4, 2008: Parliament prorogued by the Governor General during the parliamentary dispute on advice of the Prime Minister.[6]
  • December 8, 2008: Stéphane Dion announces his resignation as leader of the Liberal Party (after his successor is chosen)
  • December 10, 2008: Michael Ignatieff is chosen by the Liberal caucus as interim leader of the Liberal Party
Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Paul Crête, Former MP for the Bloc Québécois
  • August 31, 2009: Michael Ignatieff announces that the Liberal Party will no longer support the Harper Government.
  • September 16, 2009: Réal Ménard, BQ MP from Hochelaga, resigns his seat to run in the 2009 Montreal municipal election.
  • October 1, 2009: The Liberal Party proposes a no-confidence motion, which is defeated in the House when the NDP abstain from voting, causing the vote to fail.[9]
  • November 9, 2009: Four by-elections are held. The Conservatives gain two seats—one previously held by the BQ and one by an independent. The BQ and NDP hold one seat apiece.
  • December 30, 2009: Prime Minister Harper prorogues Parliament until March 3.
  • March 3, 2010: Parliament resumes.
  • April 9, 2010: Helena Guergis, resigned her post as Minister of State for Status of Women and is forced to leave the Conservative caucus and sit as an independent pending a Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation into her conduct.
  • April 30, 2010: NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis resigns as MP and leaves federal politics, in order to run for Mayor of Winnipeg.[10]
  • August 25, 2010: Liberal MP Maurizio Bevilacqua announces his intention to resign as MP for Vaughan.[11]
  • September 15, 2010: Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette Conservative MP Inky Mark's resignation takes effect. He has announced he will be resigning on this date to run for mayor of Dauphin, Manitoba.[12]
  • October 22, 2010: Jean-Yves Roy, BQ MP for Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, resigns his seat. Roy had previously announced his intent not to run in the next election.[13][14]
  • October 25, 2010: Conservative MP and former Government House Leader Jay Hill resigns as MP for Prince George—Peace River[15]
Jack Layton, Leader of the NDP
Gilles Duceppe, Leader of the Bloc Québécois
  • November 29, 2010: Three by-elections are held. The Conservatives gain one seat from the Liberals and retain a seat, while the Liberals gain one seat from the NDP.
  • January 31, 2011: The Newfoundland and Labrador First Party becomes deregistered after failing to meet a membership quota.
  • March 21, 2011: A House of Commons committee recommends that the Conservative government be found in contempt of parliament.
  • March 22, 2011: The 2011 federal budget is presented in the House of Commons. All three opposition parties state they will not support it.
  • March 23, 2011: Michael Ignatieff introduces a no-confidence motion against the government on the contempt charge. Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton say they will support it.[17]
  • March 25, 2011: The Liberal Party's no-confidence motion passes the House 156-145, causing the Prime Minister to motion for the House to adjourn.[18]

The motion read as follows:

Governor General David Johnston
Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party
  • March 29, 2011: A Conservative party volunteer campaigning in Edmonton—Strathcona, Sebastien Togneri, is found to be under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and is removed from the campaign.[20]
  • March 30, 2011: It is announced Prime Minister Harper will not attend the April 29 wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton in the United Kingdom.[21]
  • April 5, 2011: The Federal Court rejects the Green Party's request for an expedited hearing, on allowing May to attend the debates, prior to the scheduled debates.[22]
  • April 10, 2011: The French language debate is moved from April 14 to April 13, due to a Montreal Canadiens playoff game being scheduled for April 14.[23]
  • April 11, 2011: Manicouagan candidate, André Forbes, loses the support of the Liberal party.
  • April 12, 2011: The English language leaders' debate takes place.
  • April 13, 2011:
    • The nominations become official, with 1,587 people running in 308 ridings.
    • The People's Political Power Party of Canada become deregistered after failing to run a candidate.
    • The French language leaders' debate takes place.
  • April 23, 2011: The fringe parties leaders' debate takes place.
  • April 22, 23, and 25, 2011: Advanced polls takes place
  • May 2, 2011:
    • Polling Day
    • The Conservative Party wins its first majority government, the New Democratic Party wins the most seats in its history, becoming the official opposition, and Elizabeth May becomes the first Green Party of Canada candidate elected. The Liberal Party won the least number of seats and received the smallest percentage of the popular vote in its history.
    • Gilles Duceppe steps down as leader and president of the Bloc Québécois.
  • May 3, 2011:
    • Michael Ignatieff announces he will be stepping down as leader of the Liberal Party.
    • Vivian Barbot is chosen as the interim president of the Bloc, despite losing her seat.
  • May 18, 2011: Jack Layton of the NDP sworn in as Leader of the Official Opposition[24]
  • May 23, 2011: Return of Writs[25]
  • May 25, 2011: Michael Ignatieff resigns as Liberal Party leader. Bob Rae is chosen as the interim leader.
  • June 2, 2011:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Three letters patent dissolving Parliament, setting calling election, and summoning a new Parliament.
  2. ^ "Proclamation Summoning Parliament to Meet on November 18, 2008". Canada Gazette. November 10, 2008. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  3. ^ "An Accord on a Cooperative Government to Address the Present Economic Crisis" (PDF). Liberal Party of Canada, New Democratic Party. December 1, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 9, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Liberals, NDP, Bloc sign deal on proposed coalition". CBC News. December 1, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  5. ^ "A Policy Accord to Address the Present Economic Crisis" (PDF). Liberal Party of Canada, New Democratic Party, Bloc Québécois. December 1, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 17, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  6. ^ a b "Proclamation Proroguing Parliament to January 26, 2009". Canada Gazette. December 5, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2008.[dead link]
  7. ^ Canada (January 28, 2009). "Ignatieff okays budget, with conditions". Toronto: Theglobeandmail.com. Archived from the original on January 26, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  8. ^ "Pundit's Guide: Conservatives Decide to Renominate All Incumbents". Punditsguide.ca. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  9. ^ "Canada's government survives non-confidence motion". Reuters. October 1, 2009.
  10. ^ "CBC News - Manitoba - MP Wasylycia-Leis Leaving Parliament." CBC.ca - Canadian News Sports Entertainment Kids Docs Radio TV. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, April 27, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  11. ^ "Bevilacqua resigns as MP, clears way for run at Vaughan’s top job", Toronto Star, August 25, 2010
  12. ^ "Inky hopes to make a Mark as mayor again", Winnipeg Free Press, August 17, 2010
  13. ^ Lévesque, Sonia. "Le Député Jean-Yves Roy Quittera Son Poste En Octobre." L'AVANT-POSTE - Québec, CA. L'Avant-Poste, September 14, 2010. Retrieved September 16, 2010. ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  14. ^ Beauchemin, Malorie. "Le Bloquiste Jean-Yves Roy Partira à La Mi-octobre | Malorie Beauchemin | Politique Canadienne." Cyberpresse | Actualités, Arts, Environnement, International, Opinions, Sports, Vivre, Voyage. Cyberpresse.ca, September 15, 2010. Retrieved September 16, 2010. ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  15. ^ "MP Jay Hill leaving Commons", Toronto Star, October 4, 2010
  16. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/11/04/prentice-resignation.html Prentice leaving politics to join CIBC
  17. ^ http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20110323/budget-follow-election-110323/ As rhetoric rises, parties inch closer to May vote
  18. ^ "Vote Details (40-3 Vote No. 204)". Parliament of Canada. March 25, 2011.
  19. ^ Burgmann, Tamsyn (March 29, 2011), "Green's Elizabeth May will fight broadcasters' decision to ditch her from debate", The Canadian Press, retrieved March 30, 2011
  20. ^ CBC News (March 29, 2011). "Ex-Tory staffer not on campaign anymore: Harper". CBC. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  21. ^ Community Team (March 30, 2011). "Royal Wedding: Should Stephen Harper have cancelled?". CBC News. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  22. ^ "Judge denies Elizabeth May's bid to join leaders' debates". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. CP. April 5, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  23. ^ "How Canadian: NHL trumps debate date". CBC News. CBC. April 10, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2011.
  24. ^ "Layton sworn in as first Opposition leader for the NDP".
  25. ^ "Proclamation Issuing Election Writs". Canada Gazette, Part II. 145 (1 (Extra)). March 28, 2011.