NDP to prop up Harper government

The NDP says it will support the Conservatives on a crucial budget motion Friday — and keep propping up the government long enough to pass EI legislation to help unemployed workers.

NDP Leader Jack Layton stands in the House of Commons during Question Period in Ottawa Tuesday.

OTTAWA — The NDP says it will support the Conservatives on a crucial budget motion Friday — and keep propping up the government long enough to pass EI legislation to help unemployed workers.

The news appears to rule out a fall election — as long as EI legislation is still in play.

It comes a day after the Bloc Quebecois announced that it will vote for the minority government’s ways-and-means motion, averting an immediate election.

The motion is considered a matter of confidence, meaning the government needs the support of one of the opposition parties to survive.

New Democrat MP Thomas Mulcair says his party will support the Tories until they pass legislation that would extend EI benefits to long-tenured workers.

That means a Liberal non-confidence motion expected the first week of October is likely to fail.

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