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Harper To Deliver Economic Report Card Monday

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will deliver his government’s latest economic report card in Saint John, N.B., on Monday.

Appearing on CTV’s Question Period on Sunday, Transport Minister John Baird said Harper will provide an update on the state of the economy.

“He’ll be able to give Canadians a real update on where were are on the economy, where we are on infrastructure spending,” Baird said.

“He’ll be able to tell people what we’re doing to keep our banking system strong and the real success we’ve had working with provinces and municipalities across the country on infrastructure.”

The minority government got its economic stimulus plan approved in the Commons last spring by promising to deliver a series of economic report cards.

Baird would not offer any details of the latest status report.

“We’ve made great progress since June,” he said.

He said Harper chose to present the update in Saint John rather than the Commons because he wants to speak to ordinary Canadians.

“He doesn’t want to live in a bubble in Ottawa. He wants to get out of the capital, talk to real people right across the country.”

Parliament returns to work Monday with the Liberals threatening a non-confidence vote and the NDP holding the balance of power.

The Liberals have spent the past week arguing that the government has been slow to get its stimulus money moving. They say that the money which has moved out has gone largely to Conservative constituencies.

They say they have no confidence in the government and plan to introduce a motion to topple the Tories in the next week or so.

NDP Leader Jack Layton, whose party’s vote could save the government from defeat, says he’s more interested in making Parliament work than in forcing an election.

His priority is a package of changes that will improve employment insurance benefits for long-term workers.