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Canadian government ousted in House of Commons vote

[JURIST] Canadian legislators voted Monday night to defeat the Liberal minority government on a no-confidence motion proposed by the three opposition parties. The 171 to 133 House of Commons [official website] vote forces Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin [official website] to visit Governor General Michaelle Jean [official profile] Tuesday to formally request that Parliament be dissolved and that an election date be set. Martin is expected to ask for an eight-week election campaign with a vote in mid-January. The no-confidence vote comes 17 months after the Liberals were elected by Canadian voters in December 2003, but Martin fell under heated attack shortly after taking office when reports surfaced that the previous Liberal party government which he had served as Finance Minister had given $100 million in contracts to advertising firms [JURIST report] with close ties to the Liberals which resulted in little or no returns. A recent poll conducted for the CBC shows that Liberals and the main opposition Conservatives [party websites] will have a tight race in the upcoming January election. The Liberals' defeat also means that several proposed bills will die, including an animal cruelty bill and an act to legalize minor amounts of marijuana. CBC has more.

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