Ontario passes budget, avoids snap election

Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:01am EDT
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - Ontario averted a snap election on Wednesday as the minority Liberal government passed its budget after a threat by Premier Dalton McGuinty to go back to the polls due to bickering and standoffs with opposition parties that had stalled the budget bill.

The budget passed 52 to 35 in the provincial legislature, easing immediate political uncertainty and sending a signal to debt-rating agencies that the government's plan to get rid of its C$15 billion ($14.7 billion) deficit by the 2017-18 fiscal year is proceeding.

The right-wing Conservatives, who decided not to support the budget from day one, voted against it, while the left-leaning New Democrats abstained, allowing the bill to pass.

($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; Editing by Peter Galloway)

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty installs a rivet on a Global 6000 aircraft during a tour of Bombardier's manufacturing facilities in Toronto May 29, 2012. REUTERS/ Mike Cassese