Kathleen Wynne says budget defeat would force 'unnecessary' election
If opposition parties vote down the coming Ontario budget, it would plunge the province into an "unnecessary" election that the Liberals are ready to fight, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Wednesday.
The Ontario government is due to table its budget in eight days with the minority Liberals needing support from some opposition members in order for it to pass, and for the government to survive.
So far the New Democrats have indicated that the budget must meet selected criteria in order for the government to have their support, though the premier has said the Liberals will not be "held hostage" by demands.
When speaking with reporters in Toronto on Wednesday morning, the premier said she believed the government’s budget would be "very supportable" by both opposition parties.
But she also said that if they decide to vote against it and an "unnecessary" trip to polls is triggered, the Liberals are prepared to take on their opponents during a campaign.
"We’re ready for that and we’ll be campaigning in every seat across this province," Wynne said.
The Progressive Conservatives say they believe Ontarians are fed up with the Liberals, though leader Tim Hudak and deputy leader Christine Elliott stopped short Wednesday of saying that the public wants to see an election called.
Hudak said that the Liberals have not been receptive to ideas from his party on how to curb government spending.
"We've made every effort to put ideas on the table on how to rein in spending and how to create jobs in our province. Each and every time the Liberals have said no," he told reporters Wednesday.
Elliott said it’s not up to the premier to decide whether an election is necessary or not.
"She may feel that it’s unnecessary right now, but that’s really up to the people of Ontario to decide," Elliott said.
The Tories are hearing from Ontarians that they are dissatisfied with the direction the government is taking the province, she said.
"I'm hearing that people are not happy with the way things are going and want to have a say in where we are headed in Ontario."