Threat of summer election in Ontario eases as budget battle winds down

The threat of a summer election over the Ontario budget virtually evaporated Tuesday, but the partisan battles left some bitter feelings, especially among New Democrats and Liberals.

TORONTO — The threat of a summer election over the Ontario budget virtually evaporated Tuesday, but the partisan battles left some bitter feelings, especially among New Democrats and Liberals.

The legislature was scheduled to be recalled Wednesday for the vote on the minority government’s budget, which the New Democrats said again Tuesday they will allow to pass.

“A budget will be passed in this legislature that is a little more balanced because of the work that we were able to do,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said in an interview.

“We set out to make the budget more fair, more responsive to the concerns of families, and I think we were able to do that.”

The NDP forced several concessions from the minority government, including a tax on the rich and increased welfare payments, in exchange for letting the budget pass.

But they angered Premier Dalton McGuinty when they combined with the Progressive Conservatives last week to quash a key section of the budget bill on privatization.

McGuinty warned last week that he’d call an election rather than suffer more opposition changes to the budget after the opposition voted to remove the privatization sections at committee.

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