Alrighty, this has come up more than once in the comments, as well as the coverage of yesterday’s official launch of the fall election speculation season, so I figured it’s worth running through a few of the upcoming days that may or may not live in infamy.
First, there’s the report from the EI panel, which, according to the PMO release announcing its beribboned creation last June, will “deliver recommendations to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and Canadians by September 28, 2009.” Notice that there is no explicit requirement that those recommendations be tabled in the House of Commons, although presumably, that would be one way to deliver them to “Canadians”.
With that in mind, ITQ predicts that the delivery mechanism will be the classic tersely-worded press release, mostly because she can’t imagine a scenario in which Marlene Jennings, Pierre Poilievre, Mike Savage and Diane Finley would be willing to share the stage — let alone the microphone — at a news conference to tell us all how they spent their summer holidays, but stranger things have happened. Not much stranger, mind you, but still. Also, she continues to feel very, very sorry for poor Malcolm Brown, the sole civil servant on the panel, and believes that he should be preemptively exempted from any and all ensuing fingerpointing.
The week of September 28th — note correction, and thanks to Commenter Beaker for reading the fine print of the agreed-upon motion, which ITQ really should have done more carefully — is also the deadline for the government to table in the House “a further accountability report” that meets all the requirements of the previous reports, with a Liberal opposition day to be scheduled two days later.
It’s worth noting that the Liberals are under no obligation to make that accountability report –or, for that matter, the EI recommendations — the subject of that opposition day motion, although considering that first Bob Rae, then Michael Ignatieff has said that the party will introduce a motion of non-confidence at the first opportunity, it’s hard to see how they can wriggle out of doing so when that opportunity presents itself, which could happen any time between September 30th and October 6th. A vote on that non-confidence vote could take place later that same day, or be deferred until the following day — which, if the government tables its report on September 28th, would be October 1, 2009, which is, coincidentally, the same day that Elections Canada hands out the next round of quarterly allowance cheques.
(ITQ would like to extend her apologies to any and all of you who already had all these dates circled in red on the calendar, but after a sleepy summer of assuming the Liberals would fold like a bunch of deck chairs when the deadline rolled around, she’d pretty much forgotten the details of the June 17th detente between Ignatieff and the prime minister, so this post was as much an attempt to get her own head around the timeline for the next few weeks as a service to her readers.)
UPDATE/CORRECTION: So, according to a junior Liberal source, that opposition day will actually fall three days after the tabling of the report, which would bump the above timeline up by a day, and the post has been amended accordingly. In defence of ITQ’s reading comprehension skills, the ‘two sitting days’ comes directly from the twin draft motions posted on both the prime ministerial and Liberal websites, despite the fact that the actual text of the motion, as read into Hansard, specifies that it will take place on the third sitting day.