OTTAWA – The global economy is still fragile. Canada’s recovery has been strong but it needs to remain our focus. That’s why the economy has been and will continue to be the number one priority for me as prime minister and for all the members of our Conservative government. This is what Canadians expect of us in Parliament, all of us.
The budget tabled this week by the minister of finance, the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, is critically important to complete Canada’s economic recovery. It seeks to support growth, create jobs and help those in need with affordable measures and to do all of these things without raising taxes. Its contents not only reflected the wide input of Canadians, including the input of other political parties, it has the strong support of Canadians.
Indeed, there was nothing, absolutely nothing in the budget that the opposition could not or should not have supported.
Unfortunately, Mr. Ignatieff and his coalition partners in the NDP and Bloc Quebecois made abundantly clear that they had already decided they wanted to force an election instead — Canada’s fourth election in seven years, an election Canadians had told them clearly that they do not want.
Thus the vote today, which obviously disappoints me, will, I suspect, disappoint most Canadians.
As a consequence, I will have to meet with the Governor General tomorrow to advise them of the situation and to take the only course of action that remains.
Let me assure you that our priority will remain to ensure stability and security for Canadians in what remain extremely challenging global circumstances.
After I have met with Governor General Johnston tomorrow, I will be in a position to take your questions.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper