Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday March 23, 2011
No indication gov’t met his budget demands: Layton
NDP Leader Jack Layton says he has received “no indication” from the federal government that any of his suggestions have been included in the upcoming budget, ideas that were a condition of his party’s support.
Layton said Sunday he hasn’t heard from Prime Minister Stephen Harper since the two sat down several weeks ago to discuss the NDP’s key demands for the budget.
Layton told CTV’s Question Period that Harper has not said whether any of his ideas have made it into the budget’s final draft, which could kill his party’s support for the budget and kick-start an election campaign.
“I don’t want to support this particular government. I do want to get things done,” Layton said.
“However, the fact that we’ve really had no indication from the government that they’re doing anything significant, you’ve got to assume that that budget document’s probably been sent off to some printer somewhere already being printed. So, the prime minister has either made his decisions, or he’s about to make them, and he essentially has the choice to make here about whether we end up in an election or whether we have parties working together to get results.”
Layton has been calling for budget provisions that would boost CPP and GIS payments for seniors, increase funding to get more doctors and nurses into family medicine and end federal taxes on home heating fuel.
“We’ve called for these steps…they are reasonable, they are practical, and we want the government to follow through on it,” Layton said Sunday. “But we’re not hearing much of a sign that they will.” (Source: CTV News)