Bloc Quebecois to support Tories' new budget
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Monday, March 19, 2007 7:14PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 5:54PM EDT
The Bloc Quebecois is the lone opposition party to support the federal Conservative government's new budget, which means the budget will likely be approved by Parliament.
"We will support the budget," Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe told CTV Newsnet's Mike Duffy Live on Monday after the budget was tabled.
"An election has been avoided," Robert Fife, CTV's Ottawa bureau chief, said Monday after some dramatic developments that made it look like the budget would be defeated by all three opposition parties -- an act that would trigger an election.
"This was the intention of the Conservatives. They wanted to design and craft a budget that would pass the House of Commons."
Duceppe had this to say: "He (Prime Minister Stephen Harper) has got everything to govern; let him govern. He will have our support when it's good for Quebec, if not, we will vote against it. Also, Mr. Dion, (Liberal Leader Stephane) he went around Canada last week saying he doesn't want an election ... he should say thank you to us."
CTV News first reported that two of the three of the opposition parties would not support the 2007-08 budget tabled by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
Dion told CTV that he doesn't think the budget really does that much for families or the provinces when compared to previous Liberal budgets.
A tax increase on the rate assessed to the lowest income-earners that was imposed last year remains in this budget. "It's $1.4 billion of tax increases for families," he said.
"Almost nothing for families for health care, for child care, for students."
NDP Leader Jack Layton told CTV that his party wouldn't be supporting the budget because it widens the prosperity gap.
"As this budget stands, we couldn't support it," he said.
Craig Oliver, CTV's chief political correspondent, said Duceppe had been speaking with Parti Quebecois Leader Andre Boisclair on what position to take.
"There is some $2.3 billion of federal money going to Quebec in this budget," Oliver said.
Quebec is currently in a provincial election campaign, with voters going to the polls in exactly one week.
Duceppe said that this budget doesn't resolve the fiscal imbalance, saying his party sets that gap at $3.9 billion.
"We were asking for a permanent mechanism (in terms of tax transfer or GST points). There's nothing on that. It's always a decision by Ottawa," he said.
He took credit for making the fiscal imbalance an issue, saying Dion didn't even talk about it.