Ontario NDP leader says Liberal 'arrogance' could topple government

In an interview with CBC News, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has laid down the gauntlet. She says if the provincial Liberals won't work with her party on changing the budget then voters in Canada's biggest province could be faced with a snap election next week.

Horwath blames Liberal "arrogance"

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says if the Liberals are defeated over their 2012 budget, it will be due to their own arrogance. (Sheryl Nadler/CP)

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says if the Liberals aren't willing to work with her party on re-crafting the provincial budget it could mean a snap election.

"If [the Liberals are] not prepared to work with us, then we'll be into an election," she said.

In an interview on Metro Morning, Horwath said if the minority Liberals go down to defeat over their budget next Tuesday it will be their own fault.

"If they're not prepared to do what the people told them to do - which is work with the other parties ... so if we do end up in election next week it will be because the McGuinty Liberals, in their arrogance, weren't prepared to work with anyone else," she said.

On Thursday the NDP removed one of its conditions for supporting the budget — dropping the HST on home heating bills.

Horwath said discussion between the NDP and the Liberals were bogged down on the HST issue and the only way forward was to drop the condition.

The NDP leader called the Finance Minister Dwight Duncan's budget "brutal" and said she was trying to make changes to protect day care, health care and jobs in Ontario. 

"It is a minority government .... I mean they do need somebody to work with them if they're going to pass the budget.  Well, we thought the people of Ontario made a pretty clear decision in October - and that decision meant the parties had to work together to make the minority government work."

Horwath blamed the Liberals for the crisis the government is facing. 

"They didn't pull us in [to the budget discussions] at the beginning. they didn't work with us to put a budget together that we could then support. So they put this budget forward on their own, without our participation at all, and we've said, 'We don't like it.'"

The vote on the budget is scheduled for April 24. The Liberals need at least two opposition members to support their budget to avoid sending voters to the polls for the second time in six months.

Also on Friday the Ontario Federation of Labour launched a campaign against the minority Liberal budget, saying proposed service and job cuts are the biggest since the era of former Tory premier Mike Harris.