Canada

Federal budget passes House of Commons vote

With the power of a majority government on their side, the federal Conservatives had no problem passing their budget in the House of Commons on Monday.

Spending plan revised slightly from Flaherty's March budget

With a majority government giving them the power of numbers, the federal Conservatives had no problem passing their budget in the House of Commons on Monday.
MPs have approved the revised budget that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered in the House of Commons on June 6. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The budget passed by a vote of 167 to 131, with four Bloc Québécois MPs voting in support and the other opposition parties voting against it.

Last week, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty introduced a budget only slightly revised from the one he had tabled in March, shortly before the spring election campaign was kicked off.

This new budget includes the campaign promise made by the Tories to eliminate the federal deficit a year ahead of schedule. The March budget had forecast a deficit of $300 million in 2014-2015 and a surplus in 2015-2016.

But the Conservatives are promising the deficit will be eliminated by 2014-2015 through savings from a government-wide operating review.

On Monday, Kevin Page, the parliamentary budget officer, said he wanted to see a more detailed plan from the government on how it intends to reach its savings targets.

The budget passed Monday also includes $2.2 billion for an HST compensation deal for Quebec and a commitment to phase out the per-vote subsidy for federal political parties.

 Some of the other key items include:

  • Increasing the amount of the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors.
  • Introducing a family caregiver tax credit.
  • Launching a hiring tax credit for small businesses.
  • Enshrining the annual Gas Tax Fund in legislation.
  • Bringing in loan forgiveness for doctors and nurses in rural areas.
  • Ending subsidies for the oilsands sector.

 

Corrections

  • This article has been edited from an earlier version, which stated incorrectly that all four opposition parties voted against the budget. In fact, the Bloc Québécois voted in favour.
    Jun 14, 2011 11:14 AM ET

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