More than two months after the election that brought it to power, Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government takes its place in Parliament this week, facing an opposition that is vowing to undo its daycare plan.
Governor General MichaŽlle Jean will officially open the 39th Parliament tomorrow afternoon when she reads a Speech from the Throne described as shorter than Canadians have heard in the past and that lays out an agenda focused almost entirely on the Conservatives' campaign.
"We're going to keep the promises we made to Canadians during the election," Harper told a caucus meeting last week.
The speech will revolve around the vaunted five priorities: ethics, a health-care guarantee, tough law-and-order measures, a GST cut and child-care subsidies. The address is also expected to touch on Arctic sovereignty and a beefed-up military, issues Harper also raised last week in a caucus address seen as a dry run of the throne speech.
Liberal House leader Ralph Goodale, the former finance minister, said there's likely room for all-party agreement on three of the five goals: accountability and ethics reform, law and order and the health-care guarantee.
But the Liberals and NDP have declared war on the Tory plans to scrap the Liberals' program to give daycare funding to the provinces and replace it with a $1,200 payout directly to parents for every child under six. (source)