It’s a little harder to find, but there’s actually a second amendment on the table for the budget.
We all know about the Liberal one by now, full of rhetoric and no teeth. Basically demanding, in the harshest terms, that the Conservatives feign accountability over their budget.
But the Bloc Quebecois has another one that goes to the vote tonight:
A Bloc Quebecois amendment to the federal budget which urges the government to extend EI eligibility and lend more support to the forestry and manufacturing sectors faces a vote in Parliament Thursday evening.
The Bloc amendment also aims to derail a pan-Canadian securities commission and accuses the Tories of giving tax cuts to the wealthy.
The changes, which include a section to “maintain the right of women to settle pay equity issues in court,” go to a vote in the House of Commons at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
This is an amendment I believe the NDP support, as judged from their latest press release:
On the same day that President Obama passed a bill to protect pay equity in the United States, the Conservative and Liberal parties are set to vote down a budget amendment that would do the same for Canada.
I can’t find too many sources talking about this amendment, but if the Liberals truly wanted to make a progressive budget, these are a few steps in the right direction.
Hell, if this amendment passes, Harper would be forced to justify or backtrack on his relentless attacks on women or lose power to it. But that’s wishful thinking.
The unfortunate reality will be that Ignatieff is much more comfortable in a “coalition” with Harper than he ever would be with Layton or Duceppe.
I have to chastise the CTV article on this amendment however, as it claims that Liberal support is up in Quebec since the budget support was announced:
Earlier Thursday, a new poll showed the Liberals establishing a strong lead over the Conservatives in Quebec, and even challenging the Bloc Quebecois in the all important province.
He’s looking strong just one day after putting his amendment on the Conservatives’ federal budget, and seems to be gaining popularity in Quebec, where he has a good relationship with Liberal Premier Jean Charest.
Oh no, CTV, don’t admit the poll was taken before parliament even resumed (Jan 15-25), or that the now-dead coalition was always most popular in Quebec. Who knows what Quebecers will actually think after seeing Ignatieff throw his support against the Bloc amendment and behind Harper’s ConLib budget?
My bet’s that they’ll stay with the Bloc.
Update: As expected, the amendment failed 214-85 (the NDP did support the amendment).