Liberals pledge surpluses to debt, bridges

Tue Sep 9, 2008 9:27am EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Liberal leader Stephane Dion pledged on Tuesday that if he wins the Canadian election he would apply any fiscal surplus to debt reduction and infrastructure spending.

"It is likely that we'll be able -- as during the time of (former prime ministers) Mr. Chretien and Mr. Martin -- to have surpluses," Dion told a Montreal news conference on the third day of the campaign for the October 14 election.

"The first (C)$3 billion ($2.8 billion) of these surpluses will go to decrease the federal debt but any extra surplus will be for infrastructure to address the deficit of infrastructure to make sure that no bridge will fall down on our children in the next generation anymore."

Dion is trailing Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the polls.

Harper has pledged to keep the budget in the black and to apply any surpluses to debt payments, tax cuts and targeted investments.

($1=$1.06 Canadian)

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Frank McGurty)

<p>Liberal leader Stephane Dion (C) address supporters with his wife Janine Krieber (L) and daughter Jenne (2nd R) during a rally in his Montreal, Quebec riding September 8, 2008. REUTERS/Andy Clark</p>