A reporter holds a copy of the federal budget as he waits for Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, to speak during a news conference prior to delivering the budget in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa today. — Photo by The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The Harper government’s days appear to be numbered, with all three opposition parties planning to vote against the federal budget.
Defeat of the government will likely occur this week, either over the budget or a non-confidence motion planned by the Liberals on Friday.
That would topple the minority Conservatives and send voters to the polls in early May.
The government’s fate seemed to be sealed by NDP Leader Jack Layton, who has joined the Liberals and Bloc Quebecois in announcing his party’s intention to vote against the budget.
Layton says the budget falls short of the four conditions he’d laid down for NDP support.
He held out one chance to avoid a spring vote — big changes to the budget.