Old friends

Brian Topp assesses the future of relations between Stephen Harper and Jack Layton, and dishes a bit on the past.

In the winter of 2005, then-opposition leader Stephen Harper met intensively with Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe (“the separatists”) and with Mr. Layton (“the socialists”) to discuss a proposal to defeat the Paul Martin minority government at the first opportunity, and to replace it with a Conservative government supported in the House by the balance of the opposition. Mr. Harper canvassed this proposal with the Governor-General of the day in writing.

Regrettably for Mr. Harper at the time, Mr. Layton does not run with the opposition crowd. Uneasy with the idea of putting Mr. Harper in office, Mr. Layton withdrew from these discussions and negotiated the spring 2005 budget accord instead.

Follow the link for a photo of the trio of Stephen, Jack and Gilles in happier times.

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