Tuesday, May 05, 2009

From Bully To Blinker

Yesterday, the Liberals demanded the government reform the EI system. In the past, any Liberal "bluster" was usually met with a stronger counter by the Conservatives, with the final result usually being frantic backpeddling to avoid a seismic showdown. In the first practical example of how the dynamic in Ottawa is changing, the former bully is now blinking:
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is leaving the door open to improve Employment Insurance (EI) to avoid being forced into an election by the opposition parties in Parliament.

"The opposition parties have some suggestions about what they would consider to be additional improvements to the (EI) system and of course we're listening to what they had to say," Flaherty told reporters today.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is threatening to try to force an election in June if the minority government refuses to improve eligibility requirements so that more laid-off workers can access EI payments.

And the New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois are demanding action to beef up EI during the economic crisis.

But sources say the Conservatives are considering further improvements to the program.


Scott Tribe said...

I wonder if Jim's wife Christine saying there had to be EI reforms had more to do with it then the opposition parties.

Steve V said...

I doubt it, but it sure made for good ribbing in QP today.

RuralSandi said...

Well, I guess we'll see just who wears the pants in the Flaherty family.

LMA said...

Wise of Ignatieff to call the bully's bluff on an issue as important as EI reform. It really does matter to Canadians, particularly to older workers who need time to find work even in good times. Also pleased with Ignatieff's recent endorsement of hard cap and trade policies to cut GHG emissions.