Flaherty had wanted to present the economic statement in the House of Commons. But changing the House schedule on one day's notice requires the unanimous consent of all parties, and the NDP has refused, calling the late-notice announcement a political stunt.
One possibility, the Conservatives are merely trying to keep the opposition off balance, with a snap announcement. The other, another poison pill scenario for the Liberals, with a real desire to see if the government can force an election.
I lean towards the latter, and see the sudden move as a recognition of the closing window for a fall election. There is nothing else pending in the next few weeks, that could trigger a vote, if the Conservatives want to move, this statement may be their best chance. The timing of Flaherty's desire is curious, on the same day that Dion makes a strong case against a GST cut. I'll be shocked if we don't see particular emphasis on the GST tomorrow, with the intention of baiting the Liberals.
If the government had presented the statement this week, without the 3 hour notices and sense of urgeny, then it would have seemed more natural. The way this whole affair went down today suggests something else is afoot. Could be that decisions were made over the weekend, the Conservative strategists saw fertile ground and this statement was pushed up as a trigger. Should be interesting.