In a hastily assembled scrum, Conservative House Leader Jay Hill just confirmed that the government will support the Liberals’ proposed amendment to the budget, and has no problem with the notion of providing regular reports to Parliament.
UPDATE – Full transcript, courtesy of MediaQ:
Question: Mr. Hill, what’s your reaction to Mr. Ignatieff’s amendment?
Hon. Jay Hill: Well, I’m very pleased to state that the government will be supporting the Liberal amendment to the budget. We are very pleased as well that the Liberals have decided to support our budget. We look forward to working cooperatively with them.
You know, this is nothing new. We’re always accountable to Parliament and to the Canadian people, so this is just another mechanism for us to report back to the House of Commons about the progress that we intend to make.
Question: Why did you decided to support it? What did you like in it?
Hon. Jay Hill: Well like I said it’s nothing that we don’t normally do, which is report back to Parliament upon the progress that we intend to make in addressing the economic situation that faces our nation.
Question: Sir, Mr. Layton was talking this morning about a coalition between the Liberals and the Conservatives, with you supporting the Liberal motion is there a coalition now? Or is this tongue in cheek?
Hon. Jay Hill: Well, look, I’m just saying that I’m very pleased on behalf of the Canadian people that need this assistance that’s contained in our economic action plan, that the Liberals have decided to support our economic action plan and get this through Parliament as quickly as possible so that the funds and the assistance can flow to Canadians from coast to coast.
Question: Mr. Ignatieff said this morning the whole reason they’re putting this amendment in place is because the Harper government has a record of promising and not delivering. What do you say to that? What is he saying here?
Hon. Jay Hill: Well, quite to the contrary. As I said, this is nothing new. We’re held accountable and we always report back to Parliament about what we’re doing and how we’re progressing and how we’re representing our constituents and we will continue to do that. The amendment just states the obvious. So we’re very pleased to comply with it as we move forward. Thank you very much.
Full text of the motion after the jump:
That the motion be amended by changing the period to a comma and adding the following:
“provided that the Government table reports in Parliament no later than five sitting days before the last allotted day in each of the supply periods ending March 26th, 2009, June 23rd, 2009 and December 10th, 2009:
- to provide on-going economic and fiscal updates;
- to detail the actual implementation of the budget;
- to itemize the actual effects of the budget with respect to:
- the protection of the most vulnerable in Canadian society,
- the minimizing of existing job losses,
- the creation of the employment opportunities of tomorrow,
- the provision of economic stimulus in a manner fair to all regions of Canada, and
- the assurance that the Government’s deficit is not a burden to future generations or a detriment to economic recovery; and
- to provide details on any adjustments or new measures as may be required to benefit the Canadian economy.”