'The choice before New Democrats is simple' - Macleans.ca

‘The choice before New Democrats is simple’


Jack Layton explains himself.

This new reform falls far short in many ways. It doesn’t cut waiting periods, increase benefits or create uniform access across the country. We are under no illusions that this bill fixes the major problems in the EI system. We will continue to work for further changes to EI. In fact, we have a dozen proposed laws before the House that would improve other elements of the existing system.

But my party cannot, in good conscience, vote down legislation that is a step in the right direction.


‘The choice before New Democrats is simple’

  1. I agree with Jack. We don't need an election now, and 190,000 people need that help.

    • Which as nearly the same number of Canadians that EI360 was reported to help.

      • Even if that was true – which it isn't – are the Conservatives going to claim that it will cost $4 billion and that's just too expensive?

  2. Where was Jack's good conscience when he voted against the stimulus pacakge and announced his intention to do so before even reading the budget?

    • Unless I recall incorrectly, those EI changes were only a part of the budget that the NDP didn't support.

    • That was completely different. Layton is clear in that he supports steps in the right direction, whereas $6.2 billion would have been a leap in the right direciton. Solidarity, brothers and sisters.

      • Well, before he wasn't in the mood to read the bills before him, nevermind give them consideration. Now that they've supported literacy, they've found their silver lining — if only they could find the silver mine!

    • Come on Paul. You know how budgets work.

      Taking away the right of women to sue for pay equity … Even more corporate tax cuts … Fire sale of government assets … Shortchanging Newfoundland by more than $1 billion.

      The 2009 budget had more poision pills with it than Jacko's anaesthesiologist. Even Harper didn't expect the NDP to vote for it.

  3. It's true. It's really urgent to do somethign about EI…

  4. Parliament is not about fighting. Thanks Jack for being the only adult.

    • The Jack who before anything was introduced announced "I'm against it!" and then held his breath? Any idea how parliament managed to bumble on without Jack's reading skills? Fill in your partisan blathering here__

  5. Layton makes sense. It took majority Liberal governments YEARS to screw up Employment Insurance. Of course you can't fix it from the opposition benches with one bill.

    At least the NDP aren't abstaining for vote after vote after vote to keep the Cons alive in exchange for nada like the Dion/Iggys did.

    The New Dems are forcing Harper to do some of the right things … for once.

    • You are right. They aren't abstaining from voting: they are offering full fledged support for everything Harper wants to do between now and whenever it is that Harper chooses to actually pass the EI "reform".

    • Funny how all that 'stimulus spending' which were part and parcel of what Jack refused to look at the hill, nevermind consider it, before he's seen the 'light', is now 'nada'. One can argue, that just like the EI tricklings offered by Harper, that it is too little and a little late, but I hardly call that 'nada.' I guess you must be 'permanent oppo guy'…

  6. Anyways, I trust Layton to do the right thing. In fact, he's probably the only one that i trust out of all those guys.

  7. So the Liberals voted for the conservatives all those times and got… nothing

    Now people are jumping all over Layton for getting one billion??

    People in Ottawa have screwed up priorities…

    • The budget the NDP voted against had 6.5billion for the unemployed. This current bill has less than 1 billion.

      Now I know dippers are horrible at math, but even you should be able to figure that one out.

      • The budget was also full of poison pills, which Iggy had no trouble voting in favour of.

        • So the NDP argment falls apart pretty quickly. Do you really think 900 million is more than 6.5?

          Everyone in town knows that the NDP couldnt acheive financing for the campaign, and that was the reason jack layton had to go kiss the ring of Stephen.

          • If everybody in town knows it, then it should be pretty easy to prove. Go for it.

        • Bait and switch. You claimed the Liberals got nothing. Whether there were other parts of the budget you objected to does not change the fact that there was $6.2 billion in EI assistance.

          Moreover, none of the assistance that was in the budget would have been there at all if the Liberals hadn't forced Harper to do something, anything to help the economy. Remember the fiscal update just two months earlier had absolutely nothing in the way of stimulus, zero.

          • The Liberals or the threat of a coalition government that was triggered by the fiscal update?

            Do you think that if Harper didn't think that the possibility of him being unseated without an election were real he would have put any of that stuff in the budget?

    • If you consider ' $6.2 billion in earlier increases to EI payments' nothing.

    • "You think it's easy making priorities!"

  8. Layton is showing a refreshing new kind of pragmatism. His experience in opposition is shining through, and showing Ignatieff (and by extension the entire Liberal caucus) how to be effective in the face of a Parliamentary bully.

    Last time Layton was in this position he re-wrote Paul Martin's budget. This time he has secured $1 billion and extended benefits for unemployed Canadians?

    And Mr. Ignatieff?

    He got lunch with Pierre Pollievre…
    [youtube SoBo5zxXB0E http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoBo5zxXB0E youtube]

    • Layton is showing his party is a hollowed out shell after it spent 18 million dollars last election and bankrupted his party.

      Now they will bend over and take it from Harper to avoid having the bank seize their assets.

      • If you were in my situataion, you wouldn't be going on about these things like that.

  9. I lost my job, and this EI bill is going to help me. It sort of gets on my nerves when people compalin about it.

    • Good luck to you. I hope things work out for you sooner rather than later.

    • When did you lose your job and how long were you employed? Are you sure this reform will help you?

  10. You really don't care about the unemployed do you?

    • It seems one could say the same about you regarding all those unemployed in the spring (many who've EI has expired) that got $6.2 billion that Jack would have none of. Looks like the NdP-bots talking point bottles washed up on the beach finally.

  11. Actually, the last line in Jack's column is instructive. In it, he says he is for the EI bill but he doesn't have confidence in the government. I guess that means he'll vote no-confidence in the government, much like the Bloc. He'll also probably drag out the EI bill in Committee for as long as he can, though, so that he can use the unemployed and the poor as his political trampoline for a little while longer.

  12. Yeah, that's some “humiliation”. Brad Lavigne is totally correct. Read what CAW president Ken Lewensa ACTUALLY said on Newsworld on Friday:
    “I understand the New Democratic Party's position that this will help people out there, and it will help people out there. There shouldn't be any roadblocks to helping people.”

  13. A few poison pill perhaps, but something had to be done to get things going – what an election last June would be what Layton wanted?

    Methinks Layton's op-ed is more about damage control.

  14. Mr. Layton continued, ".. especially when we're so far behind in the polls. The truth is that Canadians don't seem to want us right now, so if the government is taking some steps toward our goals, even if faltering ones, Canadians are probably better off than if we went to the polls and the government didn't have to listen to us at all."

    edit: realized that might come off as sarcastic. Actually, what I was trying to get at is I think this could be seen as a reasonable explanation. I mean, sure, we all think that the parties want to be in power so that they can get the perks and their chance at the trough, but what if a party wants to be in power because they think their policies are actually the best for Canada? In that case, the politics of party-preservation make a lot of sense.

    Of course, Inkless' comment above suggests that I'm probably being naive with this line of reasoning.