Canada

Bloc support for Tories to avert election call

The Bloc Québécois will support the Conservative government's budget motion on Friday, averting a federal election call this week.

The Bloc Québécois will support the Conservative government's budget motion on Friday, averting a federal election call this week.

The government is bringing forward a financial ways-and-means motion, which includes the popular tax credits for home renovation. It is considered a confidence issue and its defeat could trigger an election.

Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe said his party had gone over the motion and supports it, in particular the tax credit. His party asked for the tax credit last November, and Duceppe said it would be idiotic to vote against it.

The Bloc's support means the minority Conservative government will survive at least until the first week of October, when the Liberals plan to introduce a no-confidence motion.

But Duceppe said the government can't count on his support for that one. 

"On each issue we're considering it at its own value. All in all, if we're asked if we have confidence in [this] government, the answer is no."

The Tories need support from either the NDP or the Bloc, since the Liberals have already said they will vote against the government on any confidence motion.

NDP Leader Jack Layton had signalled he could support the government after the Tories announced a proposal to extend employment insurance for long-tenured workers. Layton said the EI plan was a "step in the right direction."

For the EI changes to proceed, the NDP feels it would have to support the government on Friday.

With files from The Canadian Press

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