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April 28, 2005
Layton Suffering From Projection

Jack Layton, the leader of Canada's New Democrat Party (NDP), accused Tory leader Stephen Harper of cuddling up to separatists in his quest to topple the Liberal government. Layton also played into fears of Nova Scotians that any government collapse prior to a budget vote will steal their Atlantic Accord money away from them, bringing hot retorts from the Conservative leader:

NDP Leader Jack Layton struck back at Stephen Harper on Thursday, saying the Conservative Leader will be "getting into bed with the separatists" if the Tories and Bloc Qubcois work together to defeat the Liberal budget.

He also warned that if the budget is defeated, it could endanger accords recently signed between the federal government and Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. The Atlantic accords protect equalization payments from cuts because of increased energy revenue.

"[The accords are] at risk if Mr. Harper calls an election, because Mr. Harper will be getting into bed with the separatists, who didn't support the Atlantic Accord," Mr. Layton said in Halifax. "... So I think the people of Nova Scotia should be calling on all parliamentarians to make sure this budget is adopted before there's any election."

Harper, who yesterday told the press that he would no longer hesitate to table a no-confidence motion after Layton cut his deal with Martin, scoffed at the notion that Layton had the best interests of Nova Scotia in mind when he allied with Paul Martin:

"If the NDP supports the Atlantic Accord as it professes, why did they miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to insist the accord be separated from the budget and passed immediately? Did the prospect of power make it okay for them to join the Liberals in selling out Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador?," Mr. Harper asked.

Layton could not have chosen his words less carefully. Harper may well play into the strategy of separatists by allying with BQ on a no-confidence vote. However, Liberal corruption in the Sponsorship program demands some action, and the attempt to take away this session's Opposition Days earlier this month shows that the Liberals cannot be trusted to do anything except hang onto power any way they can. Allying with BQ to stop rampant corruption and restore some credibilty to government does not sound unreasonable.

However, Layton's accusation of whoring one's self for political purposes becomes outrageous when one considers the deal he cut with Paul Martin just to scoop up more tax money for the NDP's pet programs. The Gomery testimony has shown that the Liberals won their last few elections with stolen government money and influence peddling. Now Layton has (perhaps) enabled them to hang onto power for a few more months, instead of facing the voters to accept their judgment. Why? To pick the pockets of the same Canadians who got fleeced by Adscam, by the same players, only on a much grander scale -- so the same people can spend the increased money.

If anyone should feel sheepish about their political bedfellows, it's Jack Layton and the NDP.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 28, 2005 5:00 PM

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