Conservatives see spring budget if re-elected

Mon May 2, 2011 8:21pm EDT
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RICHMOND HILL, Ontario (Reuters) - The Conservative government will present its budget this spring if they are re-elected in Monday's election, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Saturday.

The budget could force Canada into its second election this year if the ruling Conservatives do not win a majority and cannot get support from the opposition parties to pass the measure.

The opposition parties all rejected the budget that was presented by the Conservatives in March, but the spending plan was never voted on before the minority government fell on other issues and the campaign began.

The Conservatives have said they plan to introduce the same budget they presented in March, although at times they have also signaled they might be willing to listen to some of the opposition parties' requests.

Polls show the Conservatives will win Monday's election but they appear to still be short of the support needed to win a majority. The left-leaning New Democrats are in second place and the Liberals are in third.

Harper, speaking to reporters in Richmond Hill, Ontario, near Toronto, said a re-elected Conservative government would present both the budget and a Throne Speech laying out its policy plans before summer, but he did not give a specific date.

Harper has also not said how long after the election it will be until Parliament will be called back into session, but has said the Conservatives will "hit the ground running" the day after voters go to the polls.

Harper has attacked the platforms of the other parties, saying their spending demands will lead to higher taxes.

(Reporting by Allan Dowd, editing by Eric Beech)