September 30, 2009 / 3:08 PM / 8 years ago

Government faces new budget confidence test

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government is set to introduce a budget implementation bill on Wednesday that will automatically set up another confidence test for the minority Conservatives.

<p>Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa September 29, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>

The bill will put into effect the home renovation tax credit and first-time home buyers credit, matters that received support from two of the three opposition parties on September 18, and should win approval again this time around.

However, the bill would amount to a fresh test of whether Parliament has confidence in the Conservatives, who need the support of at least one opposition party to remain in power.

If the bill fails, Canadians would head to the polls for the fourth general election since 2004. Votes in the House of Commons are expected in coming weeks.

Parliament is also scheduled to debate an opposition Liberal motion of non-confidence on Thursday, to be voted on the same day or on Monday.

The leftist New Democratic Party has signaled it is likely to abstain or vote against the Liberal motion, keeping the Conservatives in power to allow new employment insurance legislation to move through Parliament.

Finance Department spokesman Jack Aubry said that at some point in coming months the government is also expected to bring forward separate legislation implementing a harmonized sales tax for Ontario and British Columbia.

Agreements between Ottawa and the two provinces to merge the federal and provincial sales taxes require that legislation needs to be brought forward before the end of next March.

Reporting by Randall Palmer and Louise Egan; editing by Rob Wilson

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