February 5, 2009

Liberal "tainted" budget passes

CANADA - The minority Conservative government's $35 billion stimulus package and budget was passed Tuesday night in a key 211-91 vote, thanks to the grudging support of the Liberals who backed the Conservatives against the opposition of New Democrats and the Bloc Québécois.

The budget was full of Liberal endorsed ideas to boost the economy and get Canadians working again. Without those Liberal initiatives the budget wouldn't have been passed and Canadians would have been given either another election or a coalition government.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff warned the Conservatives they are on "probation" and is demanding regular progress reports on the status of the stimulus package as a condition of his continuing support.

Six Liberal MPs from Newfoundland and Labrador broke ranks with their party and opposed the budget, charging it shortchanges their province by more than $1 billion. Ignatieff twice asked Stephen Harper to reconsider the move in Newfoundland but Harper ignored the issue both times.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is at odds with the Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams over oil revenues in the region, so shortchanging Newfoundland in the budget was Stephen Harper's way of pissing off the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and giving Danny Williams a political slap in the face.

Newfoundland, which joined the Dominion of Canada in 1949, has sometimes thought about separating from the rest of Canada and becoming their own country. Arguably they have more cause to do so than Quebec Separatists do.

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