January 10, 2008 / 12:29 AM / 10 years ago

Canada opposition coy about triggering election

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The leader of Canada’s largest opposition party on Wednesday declined to say whether he would try to defeat the minority Conservative government over its budget, expected in late February or early March.

<p>Liberal leader Stephane Dion speaks during a news conference in Ottawa January 9, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>

“We will assess the budget when we see it,” Liberal leader Stephane Dion told a news conference.

Dion said the Liberals wanted to see tax cuts in the budget as well as initiatives to fight poverty and climate change.

The Liberals kept the Conservatives in power on several confidence votes last year on the grounds that Canadians did not want another election so soon after the January 2006 federal vote.

The approach caused friction inside the party and some leading legislators said Dion should be trying to defeat the government rather than propping it up.

Recent polls indicate the most likely result of an election now would be another minority Conservative government.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Galloway

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