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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper, running for reelection in October, said on Tuesday he would refrain from applying fresh taxes on the embattled energy sector and promised to bring back a popular home renovation tax credit.
About one in three households took advantage of the temporary credit, introduced in 2009 to combat an economic downturn, saving on average more than C$700 ($535) each, a statement from Harper's Conservative Party said.
The government would make a permanent tax credit for annual home renovation expenses between C$1,000 and C$5,000. A Conservative spokesman said it would be brought in the 2016-17 fiscal year at a cost of C$1.5 billion a year.
Harper, taking aim at opponents' plans to put a price on carbon to fight global warming, also said it would be inappropriate to apply additional taxes on energy at a time when the energy sector is struggling due to low prices.
"I think that most Canadians understand that when you get a downturn in a sector, you don't turn around and raise taxes on the sector," he told reporters during a campaign stop in Toronto, ahead of the Oct. 19 federal election.
Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli