Ontarians could be plunged into a second provincial election in six months next Tuesday.
Government House Leader John Milloy said Monday that the minority Liberals would call the budget vote on April 24 even though no deal has yet been forged with the New Democrats.
“Behind closed doors, we’re talking about the details,” said Milloy, repeatedly refusing to discuss what concessions the Liberals are willing to make to secure NDP support.
“I’m not going to sit here and cherry-pick what we like and what we don’t,” he said.
With the Progressive Conservatives vowing to vote against the budget, the Liberals have been forced into negotiating only with the NDP.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is pushing for a wealth surtax on incomes over $500,000 a year to pay for a cut on the 8 per cent provincial portion on the 13 per cent harmonized sales tax, preserve 4,000 daycare spaces, and give a 1 per cent increase in benefits to needy disabled people.
Milloy blamed the Tories for ramping up election fever by holding nomination meetings, but insisted the Liberals were not making similar preparations.
“I’m not aware of any,” he said.
The Tories still owe $6.2 million from the Oct. 6 election and senior PC officials have confided that they doubt there will be another campaign this spring because the Liberals and NDP will make a deal.
Enjoying a surge in the polls, the New Democrats are under pressure from some labour unions angered by the Liberals plans for a public-sector wage freeze to take a harder line.
The Liberals have 52 seats plus Speaker Dave Levac in the 107-member Legislature to 37 for the Tories and 17 for the NDP.
Canada News: Ontario budget: Minority Liberals could fall as soon as next week - thestar.com