Liberals will not vote against budget

Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:40pm EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's Liberal Party said on Tuesday it would not vote against the government's 2008-09 budget, thereby ensuring the survival of the minority Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"I do not see enough in this budget that would justify launching Canadians into an election that they don't want," Liberal leader Stephane Dion told reporters.

"With this budget, the Conservative government has begun to move in the direction that the Liberal opposition has been pushing."

Dion said the budget does not go "as far as we would like" in some areas and expressed concern that the Conservatives' projected surpluses of $2.3 billion for this year and $1.3 billion for next year are below the $3-billion contingency fund that Liberals consider the bare minimum to cushion against unanticipated economic shocks.

"(It is) a budget that is one-mile wide and one-inch deep. A budget that touches about everything and accomplishes very little," Dion said.

The other opposition parties, the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Quebecois, said they will vote against the budget.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Louise Egan in Ottawa and John McCrank in Toronto; Editing by Peter Galloway)

<p>Liberal leader Stephane Dion listens to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, February 12, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>