April 15, 2009 / 6:19 PM / 9 years ago

Opposition leader won't rule out tax hike

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian opposition leader Michael Ignatieff allowed on Wednesday for the possibility of raising taxes after the recession is over if all else fails to eliminate federal budget deficits.

<p>Canadian Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff speaks to students at a town hall meeting at Western Canada High School in Calgary, Alberta, April 6, 2009. REUTERS/Todd Korol</p>

“No honest politician faced with an C$80 billion deficit will take anything off the table because Canadians do not want -- they’re allergic to -- long-term structural deficits,” the Liberal Party leader told reporters in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

“But I will do anything I can, and any sensible politician will do anything they can, to avoid increasing the tax burden on Canadians, especially now, and hopefully later as well.”

He said that if he became prime minister, he would first try to cut any waste he could find in government, and he would also rely on natural growth in tax revenues as stimulus entered the economy.

Canada’s governing Conservatives, reelected in October with a minority of seats in Parliament, have pledged to avoid tax hikes.

($1=$1.21 Canadian)

Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Peter Galloway

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