Politics

Layton and Harper meet on budget

NDP Leader Jack Layton outlined his party's budget wishlist to the prime minister Friday afternoon as talk in Ottawa continued to turn to whether Canadians will see a spring election.
NDP leader Jack Layton. ((The Canadian Press))
NDP Leader Jack Layton outlined his party's budget wishlist to the prime minister Friday afternoon as talk in Ottawa continued to turn to whether Canadians will see a spring election.

Layton said in a statement the talk with Prime Minister Stephen Harper was cordial and respectful.

"The prime minister offered no assurances, but I am confident that my proposals were received and well understood," Layton said in the statement.

"My message to Mr. Harper was this: It’s time to put the political games aside and focus on immediate action to help families make ends meet."

The NDP have asked the Conservatives to take the GST off home heating bills, restore the EcoEnergy Retrofit program and increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors. The party also wants changes to the Canada Pension Plan and a plan to increase access to family doctors.

Harper’s spokesman said in a statement the two party leaders "had a positive sharing of views about initiatives that matter to Canadians."

"This is not the time for an opportunistic election. The prime minister indicated that our government will continue to focus on what really matters to Canadians – jobs and economic growth," said Dimitri Soudas.

A Liberal spokesperson said late Friday there has been no discussion of the budget between leader Michael Ignatieff and Harper, and no meeting was planned.

The federal budget is expected in March. The governing Conservatives need at least one opposition party to support the budget or risk being defeated, sending Canadians to the polls.

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