Harper urges opposition to back off from ’useless’ federal election

The Canadian Press ~ OBJ
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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.

Geographic location: OTTAWA

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Recent comments

  • Philip
    March 24, 2011 - 03:54

    Who went around campaining "Axe the tax" the Liberals and we still have it, at least Harper reduced it but was smart enough to know we can't afford to axe it. Who cancelled the helicopter order for the military and cost us one billion dollars and turned around and paid more for less helicopter, the liberals. Do you want to sent your son to represent Canada in the middle east in a 1970's vintange air jet fighter (F-18)that will be the laughing stock of Nato soon. Come on think about it we do not need to spend 400 million dollars on an election that will change nothing.

  • Frank Blackwood
    March 23, 2011 - 21:14

    This is not a concern for lack of enough goodies in the budget to please the opposition. It's a gamble between the Coalition leaders who also tried the same act to prevent Paul Martin from even getting a minority government. Now, they are trying the same act to topple Stephen Harper! I don't think Michel Ignatieff will make it past first base in the upcoming Federal Election. A change in government now will mean difficult times for everyone for the next four years because the Liberals don't have anything better to offer Canadians than Stephen Harper's Conservatives.

  • Observer
    March 23, 2011 - 18:13

    In a democracy an election is "Useless"?? Sorry sir but what part of the USSR did you grow up in?

  • Stevie Y
    March 23, 2011 - 16:16

    This cartoon just about says it all about the election. http://theindependent.ca/2011/03/23/indytoons-harpers-how-to/

  • Leslie
    March 23, 2011 - 15:27

    I think that it is absolutely essential that we have an election. The 'Harper government' is mired in fraud and scandal and have been determined to run the country without meaningful debate in the House of Commons. This is a democracy. The government has not been open and honest with their budget estimates and their continual refusal to seek consensus has brought us to this election. They must be held accountable for their secrecy and contempt of Parliament. If the people of Canada allow them to get away with this kind of behaviour it will harm our system of democracy and the future of the country. It's time to vote for a government that heeds the will of the people and conducts itself with integrity.

  • Native NLer
    March 23, 2011 - 14:52

    Election or not, money handed over to St. John's airport and Gander Airport. Last year we watched millions dropped onto the runway of Deer Lake Airport. And again we watch Stephenville Airport left in the dark. It is going to take more than a lighting system to land a plane in fog you can cut with a knife, so in my opinion a total waste of tax payer's money. Gander should be downsized to a ONE runway operation, regardless of the number of military aircraft it lands and makes not a red penny from. Stephenville Airport is left our for one reason, her name is JOAN BURKE, earlier this week she was asked before the opening of the house, if she had anything in her region she would like to be addressed, and her answer was no, but she was looking forward to seeing what other regions received. Great MHA to have represent your region if you live in Bay St. George. Time not only for a Federal election, but a Provincial one as well if you ask me.

  • Political Watcher
    March 23, 2011 - 13:46

    We need an election and we need a change in Government: this current crop are liars and are doing what they want when they want regardless of rules and laws. Illegal campaign funding and then claiming millions illegally; Ministers outright lying to Parliment: Senators charged: and the list goes on. Heaven forbid if they ever got a majority; we would be the next Country to revolt.

  • Bill
    March 23, 2011 - 13:17

    Harper is encouraging them to “put the interests of Canadians first.” How can a guy go on national TV with a message like this and at the same time endorse the continuous running of negative attack ads when there is no official election call yet? It just goes to show his complete lack of integrity.

  • Frank Blackwood
    March 23, 2011 - 13:14

    I have to agree with Stephen Harper that an election isn't necessary now with the slow growth economy we are all challenging. The opposition partyies don't like the budget? Well, Michael Ignatieff doesn't have anything better to offer Canadians, and we may end up with something worse. The Liberal Opposition leader was mute when asked some months ago what he would do for seniors? The Bloc only wants a silver spoon for Quebecers, not Canada.

  • mary
    March 23, 2011 - 13:04

    A tax credit for arts programs is not a priority in my books and will do nil to help with economic growth. If Harper truly wanted to put Canadians first he would never have pro-rogued parliament the many times that he did. He would never have given big Corp all the tax breaks he has. He would never have cut funding to many important socially oriented programs over the years the CRAP have had their minority gov't. The list goes on Harper has made the economy a political game from the get go. It is now time for Harper to get going. To get going right out off Parliament Hill and to never return. We need an election, yesterday.

  • Voter
    March 23, 2011 - 12:59

    Might not be a bad idea Jack to back off a bit --this uncertainty is causing a few goodies to drift our way.

  • Don
    March 23, 2011 - 12:26

    Funny how Harper is urging other parties not to have an election when he is the only one running ad campaigns.