Monday, September 14, 2009

Seems to be going to plan

A Star report this afternoon sums up the day's developments that are moving ever so quickly. Seems that indeed the Bloc will conditionally support the ways and means motion on Friday if it involves the home renovation tax credit:
Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe said today his MPs will support the ways and means motion if it includes the home renovation tax credit — and no poison pills.

"Is it only that or are they coming with other measures that they know we're against," Duceppe said.
Notably, a Bloc member spoke quite glowingly of the credit in the House of Commons today, no doubt publicly paving the way for the Bloc's vote. Now it's up to Mr. Harper to show whether he wants an election or not. He protests loudly that he doesn't yet keeps the nation hanging on pins and needles.

Then there are the EI machinations. FarAndWide has already blogged about the items being offered here, pointing out that the Conservatives aren't negotiating with anyone here, they're just bringing forward what they cynically telegraphed last week on Labour Day on the heels of the Liberal withdrawal from the EI panel charade the week before. Finley said then that the proposals would be for long-tenured workers, today we received confirmation that it would be 5 to 20 extra weeks. Today she stated, "This is something we committed to some time ago," Finley told reporters of the EI change." Whether this is enough for the NDP, yet to be seen:
The NDP said it would consider the Conservative reforms, despite the fact it falls far short of the party's demands that unemployed workers with as little as 360 hours of work be eligible for EI benefits and that the two-week waiting period be dropped.
But if the NDP does go ahead in supporting this legislation, it clearly won't be capable of being framed as a "concession" extracted by anyone from the Conservatives.

The Conservatives received some deserved grief today from media:
...Finley and Blackburn seemed unable to answer why the measure is being announced within days of a possible election and not last spring when it was first considered.
What can they say after all? The Conservative behaviour here on EI is indefensible. More evidence that the Conservatives are making it up as they go along.

Today's news certainly makes it look like the NDP and Bloc will be supporting the government now.

Would love to be a fly on the wall in Bob Rae's office today:)