Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks with the media outside the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa today. — Photo by The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper says it’s not too late for the opposition to reconsider their stance against the budget and avoid what he calls a “useless” federal election.
He says he will not go to the Governor General to dissolve Parliament and launch an election campaign before the Commons votes on the budget.
And he adds it’s not too late for the opposition leaders to “back off” and listen to Canadians and Canadian businesses.
Harper is encouraging them to “put the interests of Canadians first.”
The prime minister says he’s disappointed the opposition leaders “didn’t take the time to read the budget.”
He says the economy’s not a political game.
He says in this period of world economic uncertainty, his government is determined to bring about recovery.
He calls the budget “the next step on the economic action plan” and an important element of growth and recovery.
But he says the opposition parties “seem to have different priorities.”
He says they have rejected what they promised to support in Tuesday’s budget — help for seniors, home-renovation rebates, help for veterans, tax breaks and socially oriented programs.
Harper says the opposition have two choices — their ambition for a “useless” election or timely help for Canadians and the economy.