First it was Dion and now it is Layton. While it makes some sense to support the bill that has the popular home improvement tax legislation in it Layton is becoming hostage to the Harper govt. He has promised not to bring it down until the EI bill comes into effect. Perhaps Harper can arrange to delay it while he slips the poison pill harmonised sales tax legislation through. Maybe the Liberals will support that one though since their Liberal counterparts in BC are involved!
NDP to prop up Tories again
By Heather Scoffield (CP) – 1 day ago
OTTAWA — The NDP is poised once again to save the Conservatives from facing an election any time soon.
Leader Jack Layton says his party will support a key budget bill that could come before the House of Commons for final reading as early as next week.
That support would ensure the minority Harper government survives a bit longer, since budget implementation bills are automatically confidence votes.
Bill C-51 contains the popular home renovation tax credit.
It also has measures to help first-time homeowners, money to alleviate debt in poor countries, relief for livestock owners, and $174.5 million for Nova Scotia for offshore petroleum.
The Liberals have said they will oppose the Conservatives on every vote, but they need the support of the NDP and Bloc Quebecois to bring down the government.
"There's a lot of reasons to vote for these measures. When I said we would approach things on a case-by-case basis, this is exactly what I meant," Layton said Friday from Halifax.
Politicians are debating the bill in the House of Commons. No date has been set for third reading yet, but it could come by the end of next week.
The NDP has said it will prop up the government for as long as it takes to ensure the passage of a $1-billion bill to increase employment insurance benefits to long-tenured workers.
Layton's party kept the Conservatives in power on Thursday by abstaining from a Liberal non-confidence motion. But they have no qualms about supporting C-51.
"This one is a support outright because it includes measures we very much support. And it doesn't have in it a poison pill, which I'm very glad to see," Layton said.
He said he would also be inclined to support any Conservative bill that would give self-employed people access to maternity benefits.
But he would have a hard time with legislation that would sanction a harmonized sales tax in some provinces, or that would commit Canada to paying penalties for its softwood lumber exports.
"Our message to Stephen Harper is quite clear: don't provoke an election, let's get things done."
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