Canada's NDP won't back budget, signaling election

Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:56pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Opposition New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton said on Tuesday the NDP will not support the minority Conservative government's budget in its current form, setting the stage for a likely election.

The budget needs the support of one of the three opposition parties or Canada will head into its fourth general election in seven years. Both the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois have said they will oppose the budget.

The government had reached out to the NDP, which had been seen as the most likely of the three opposition parties to vote for the budget.

But Layton said the concession offered in the budget to his party's demands were not enough. He said Prime Minister Stephen Harper had "missed an opportunity" to help Canadians families, seniors and low-income citizens.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Frank McGurty)

<p>New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 21, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>