NDP Leader Jack Layton has not yet appeared for his scrum, but a press release came out saying Prime Minister Stephen Harper cannot be trusted and the budget fails to protect vulnerable Canadians, etc. No big surprise here, since Layton had been hinting, rather loudly, that he would vote against the budget pretty much on principle. Will this government fall? It appears the decision is now officially up to Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, who will speak to reporters around 5:30 PM but is expected to keep his yay or nay to himself until tomorrow. The press release:
OTTAWA – Today’s Conservative budget will not protect Canada’s most vulnerable or adequately save and create jobs, said New Democrat Leader Jack Layton.
“This budget fails to restore confidence in Mr. Harper’s ability to protect the vulnerable in Canada,” said Layton.
“In today’s budget, he prioritized $60 billion in corporate tax cuts and only $1.15 billion for the unemployed,” said Layton. He also noted Harper’s failure to reform Employment Insurance by freezing payments, maintaining the two-week waiting period and not improving eligibility requirements.
The budget also contains no mention of childcare spaces and maintains the attack on women’s ability to pursue pay equity complaints.
The budget will fail to secure the jobs of the future by continuing Harper’s failed policies on infrastructure. Recent commitments to infrastructure have failed due to the regulations and conditions the Conservatives have placed on qualifying projects. Municipal leaders across Canada still have not seen infrastructure funding despite repeated announcements. The Conservatives’ onerous regulations for municipalities trying to access infrastructure funding remain in place, ensuring that little if any of the funding will actually flow.
Layton also criticized the budget for its failure to seize the opportunities for Canada to collaborate with the Obama administration’s recently announced cap-and-trade market to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the Obama administration’s plans for greener car production.