Harper says deficit spending to continue

Wed May 27, 2009 3:02pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper, responding to opposition calls for the dismissal of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty because of record deficit projections, said Canada would stay the course with its economic plan.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said Canadians had lost confidence in Flaherty because the budget deficit was now projected at more than C$50 billion, much higher than originally forecast.

Harper said Canada's deficits were proportionately one-quarter to one-third the size of shortfalls in the United States and elsewhere, and they were affordable. He said all the factors behind the deficit were short-term.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Rob Wilson)

<p>Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa May 26, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>