This week, Canadian and US trade officials formally signed an agreement to resolve the longstanding dispute over softwood lumber. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who heads a Conservative minority government, had promised to make the legislation a matter of confidence. With the Bloc Quebecois announcing that it supports the deal, the government–which has numerically the shakiest parliamentary support of any minority government in Canada’s history–should survive, as the Tories and BQ combined have a majority of seats.
BQ leader Gilles Duceppe said:
I’ve consulted all the people involved in this dispute. It was the same answer everywhere. They don’t feel it is a good agreement but they just don’t have the choice.
So, what concessions did the BQ extract on this or other issues? Or was it simply a case of fearing a new election, given how much the Conservatives cut into former BQ support in the last one, in January?