Government survives confidence vote

Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:36pm EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's minority Conservative government survived a confidence test over its budget on Thursday, as expected.

The House of Commons defeated a subamendment by the separatist Bloc Quebecois which said the budget, delivered on Tuesday, did not meet the expectations of Quebecers.

If the Bloc measure had passed, the government would have fallen and an election would have been triggered. The last election was in January 2006.

The government will later face a vote on a Liberal amendment and then on the overall budget itself, but the Liberal Party has made it clear it would ensure the Conservative government would not fall over this budget.

The Liberals and New Democrats joined with Conservatives in defeating the Bloc Quebecois motion, which was rejected by 230 votes to 45.

Two other flashpoints that could have triggered an election had earlier been defused. The Conservatives and Liberals agreed on the terms of an extension to the military mission in Afghanistan, and the Liberal-dominated Senate passed a government crime bill.

(Reporting by Allan Dowd and Randall Palmer)

<p>Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa February 28, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>