Monday, September 14, 2009

'Real changes'

"We want to see real changes to EI," said Layton.

The NDP has pushed hard for major employment insurance reforms, including lowering the threshold to qualify for EI to 360 hours in a year.

The Canadian Press reported Friday the government is planning to bring forward a financial ways-and-means motion on Friday. The motion is considered a confidence issue, and its defeat could trigger an election.

Government officials have said a final timetable on when the motion may be introduced has not been set but some analysts have suggested the EI reforms are meant as a way to woo the NDP ahead of a possible confidence vote.

But Government House leader Jay Hill has said the employment insurance reforms have nothing to do with election threats.

"This has got to do with good governance in a very difficult economic time," Hill said. "We're going to continue to govern — business as usual."

While the Liberals have given indications they don't intend to support Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government, the NDP has not yet said how it intends to vote when a confidence issue is brought forward.

Layton signalled last week his party is prepared to work with the Conservatives if Harper is prepared to compromise.

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