UPDATE 2-Canada pledges again to balance budget by 2015

Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:51pm EST
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* Tuesday's fiscal update had pushed balanced budget to 2016-17

* Conservative platform had promised balance by 2014-15

* Harper, Flaherty now say it will be 2015

* Opposition says Harper making it up as he goes along

By Randall Palmer and Edward Krudy

OTTAWA/NEW YORK, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The Canadian government on Friday reiterated its intention to balance its budget by 2015, three days after projecting there would be deficits until 2016-17.

In separate appearances in Quebec City and New York, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty were at pains to say they still intended to end the red ink by 2015.

"It remains the government's plan, intention, to balance the budget prior to the next federal election. The recent economic and fiscal update by the minister indicates we are actually very close to that objective," Harper told reporters in Quebec City. The next election is in October 2015.

Flaherty's fall fiscal update on Tuesday had pushed back the target date for eliminating the deficit by a year, to 2016-17, citing a weak global economy.   Continued...