Canada's Flaherty won't change budget if elected

Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:51pm EDT

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CALGARY, Alberta, March 26 (Reuters) - Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Saturday he will reintroduce his latest budget without changes if the Conservative Party wins the election on May 2.

"We will present the same budget to Parliament, certainly," Flaherty told reporters in a news conference after a meeting of finance ministers of the Americas.

Canada's three opposition parties brought down the minority Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday, saying the government was tainted by sleaze, managed the economy poorly and was in contempt of Parliament. [ID:nN26105214]

Flaherty had presented a federal budget on Tuesday that was immediately rejected by all opposition leaders. But they never got around to a parliamentary vote on the plan, toppling Harper first on a Liberal motion of nonconfidence.

"Parliament has not voted on the budget. It voted on a procedural motion yesterday," Flaherty said.

He said the only possible changes to the budget would be updates to the economic assumptions used for fiscal planning.

"But fundamentally it would be the same document, updated if necessary," he said.

Flaherty confirmed he is running as a candidate in the election and dismissed a promise by Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff that he would not seek to form a coalition with the other parties if the Conservatives win another minority.

Polls show the right-of-center Conservatives are set to retain power in what will be Canada's fourth election in less than seven years. (Reporting by Louise Egan and Jeffrey Jones; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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