NDP's Murray: says election was avoidable
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Liberal says Fast is "complacent"
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As the Conservative's minority government in Ottawa stands on the brink of collapse, the Abbotsford-Mission Times has been told the federal NDP is not seeking an election.
Talk of a federal election began heating up this week, however David Murray, the NDP candidate for the Abbotsford riding for more than a year, told the Times the his party will choose not to bring down the minority Conservatives, despite rejecting the budget that was tabled on Tuesday.
Murray said there is leeway to find a common ground on certain issues, which would - for now - postpone the prospect of an election.
"I think they'd rather see Parliament work," said Murray.
"I don't think we want an election at this point but if we have no other alternative, we certainly are ready for it.
"At last point that I heard was that [Jack Layton] even at this late stage would still be willing to listen to some kind of budget increase to what we were looking at."
It was reported Wednesday, however, the NDP would support a motion of non-confidence.
The coalition government, led by Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, needs support of both the NDP and the Bloc Québécois in order to bring about a no confidence vote, which would force Harper to dissolve parliament.
The debate on whether to bring down the minority Conservatives is scheduled for today.
Madeleine Hardin, who was officially named the federal Liberal party candidate for Abbotsford on Wednesday night, said Canadians want a change from the Conservative government.
Hardin referred to Abbotsford MP Ed Fast's attitude as "complacent," and said the Conservatives have not managed the money of Canadians very well.
"It's a myth to believe the Conservatives are good with our money," she said.
"When Harper took over he had a $16 billion surplus and he managed that surplus into a $56 billion deficit. He went into the deficit before the recession. They are not good with managing our money."
The budget promised a Family Caregiver Tax Credit and Children's Art Tax Credit, as well as a new annual top-up of up to $600 for single seniors and $840 for senior couples.
"This budget is clearly focused on low taxes that will ensure continued economic growth," said Fast.
"When you look at the items we've included in the budget, they're focused on growing the economy and addressing the immediate needs of a broad cross-section of Canadians."
Murray said the Conservatives have done some good things since coming into power in 2006, but have not given credit to the opposition parties for doing their part.
"I honestly believe that the Conservatives have taken too much credit and have not given credit to the other parties that have worked hard to make sure we have good fiscal management."
Hardin said the proposed tax credits aren't enough for Canadian families.
"The problem with Conservatives though is they're not telling us how they're going to cost us.
"Canadians need more than tax cuts. They need vision."
Daniel Bryce, Abbotsford's Green Party candidate, said the Conservatives are good at "steady-as-she-goes policy," but Canadians feel the political system itself may be fundamentally flawed.
"Our economy is not doing as well as it could be, so I think the main thing is we actually do need to make fundamental changes," he said.
"The steady-as-she-goes is not really the best policy at this point."
Another issue that could propel an election is the contempt of Parliament controversy the Conservatives are mired in.
Hardin referred to the scandal as "corruption."
"Is that the kind of government we want?"
Digging his heels in, Fast said the Conservatives believe Canadians don't want to head to the polls, which would jeopardize Canada's economic recovery.
"The opposition simply wants to return to power."
All four local representatives have stated they are ready for an election.
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