McGuinty, Horwath want budget to pass to avoid election, but do they have a deal | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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McGuinty, Horwath want budget to pass to avoid election, but do they have a deal

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in Windsor Ont., Friday, June 15, 2012.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Spowart

TORONTO - Ontario's governing Liberals and New Democrats both say they want to see the budget pass to avoid a provincial election, but do they have a deal to make that happen?

Premier Dalton McGuinty dropped his election threats in a letter to NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on Sunday that urged her to live up to her promise to make sure the budget isn't defeated.

McGuinty called on Horwath to agree to not make any major changes to the budget at committee before Wednesday's final vote in the legislature.

Horwath said she was pleased McGuinty had changed his tone and was no longer threatening a snap election.

However, the NDP Leader also said she still wants to see changes to the budget as the finance committee considers over 200 amendments in the next two days.

The NDP and Conservatives have the majority on the committee and on Thursday they used it to remove sections of the budget the Liberals insist are needed to eliminate a $15 billion deficit.

That prompted McGuinty to threaten an election and complain Horwath had broken two previous agreements to make sure the budget would pass.

After making concessions such as a tax on the rich and increased payments for people on welfare and disability support to get the NDP's earlier commitments, McGuinty said this time he wants it in writing.

"Specifically, I ask you to commit yourself and your party, in writing, to not alter the intent or block passage of any more schedules of the budget bill," the premier wrote Horwath. "And, of course, I will also need your written assurance that you will not block passage of the budget bill in the legislature."

The Liberals need only one NDP or Tory vote to pass the budget and avoid the defeat of the minority government, or the NDP could abstain and let the government out vote the Conservatives, who have vowed to defeat the fiscal plan since the day it was introduced.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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