Tuesday is Harper budget day
[PoliticsWatch Updated 1:50 p.m. April 28, 2006]
On Tuesday, Canadians will get a Conservative budget for the first
time in 13 years.
The budget is expected to include two of the Conservatives' famous
five priorities -- a one-per-cent reduction in the Goods and
Services Tax and a the promised $100 a month cheque to families for
each children under six to cover child-care expenses.
The budget is a confidence vote and its defeat would mean the defeat
of the government and result in an election.
The Conservatives only need one of the three opposition parties to
back their budget to avert defeat, but already the NDP and the
Liberals are both making demands.
The Liberal finance critic John McCallum said this week the Liberals
would not a support a budget that rolled back the one-per-cent
reduction in income tax the Liberals passed days before their
government was defeated in the House in November.
And NDP Leader Jack Layton has a laundry list of demands including
ending subsidies to gas and oil companies, long-term child-care
funding, investment in post-secondary education and "fixing
up" the Employment Insurance program.
Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has held consultations
already with the finance critics from the three opposition parties,
but Layton's demands and keeping the one-per-cent tax cut are not
expected to be in the budget.
What will be in the budget is still a secret but according to media
reports the following can be expected.
> Canwest News reported this week on a
letter that suggests the government will spend $3.3 billion for
trusts for provincial governments to spend on transit, education and
housing, including a $300 million trust for aboriginal housing,
another $300 million trust for housing in the territories, $1
billion for education, $900 million for transit and $800 million for
> "substantial," according to Flaherty, new money for
> a tax credit to help families with children playing in sports
> a tax credit to cover the costs of those who use public transit
> possible new assistance for Canadian
> a reduction in overall government spending to curb spending
growth, which rose 15 per cent in the last year.
Also activity is sent to begin in committees next week. Already six
committees are scheduled to elect their chairs, including the
powerful finance committee and the international trade committee.
The chairs of the six committees meeting next week will be
Conservatives. There are reports that Conservatives are being told
to select preferred candidates recommended by Prime Minister Stephen
Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott already says he has been selected
by the prime minister to chair the aboriginal affairs committee.
Here's what's happening in the House next week
Monday: Second reading of Bill C-3,
respecting international bridges and tunnels and Bill C-5, the public health agency.
A take note debate will be held Monday evening on the subject of the
ongoing crisis in Darfur.
Tuesday : The budget will be presented at 4 p.m. ET
Thursday: Opposition Day
The aboriginal affairs, finance and public security committees
all elect their chairs.
The immigration, environment and trade committees all elect their
Bills the Tories have
tabled in this Parliament
C-2 An Act providing for conflict of interest rules, restrictions on election financing and measures respecting administrative transparency, oversight and accountability
Status: Referred to committee
This is better known the Federal Accountability Act, which a number
of new measures and a massive list of amendments to current laws
aimed at cleaning up government. The bill is the government's No. 1
priority and the Tories want it passed before the summer recess in
June, but already some senators are threatening to hold up the bill
because it creates a joint ethics commissioner for the House and
C-3 An Act respecting international bridges and tunnels and making a consequential amendment to another Act
Status: Second reading April 28
C-4 An Act to amend An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act
Status: Passed April 27
C-5 An Act respecting the establishment of the Public Health Agency of Canada and amending certain Acts
Status: Introduced April 24
C-6 An Act to amend the Aeronautics Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
Status: Introduced April 27
C-7 An Act to amend the National Defence Act
Status: Introduced April 27
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