Canada PM says won’t provoke election in early 2011

* Harper says no “poison pill” planned to trigger election

* Will make minor cabinet changes early in 2011

* No need for “slash and burn” spending cuts

OTTAWA, Dec 17 (BestGrowthStock) – Canada’s minority Conservative
government will not try to provoke an election in 2011 by
including measures in the budget that the opposition cannot
support, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.

Many political observers expect the three opposition
parties to join forces to bring down the Conservatives over the
budget early next year.

In an interview with CTV News broadcast on Friday, Harper
said an election could jeopardize the patchy economic
recovery.

“I’m not going to call an election and we’re not bringing
forward some kind of poison pill to provoke an election,” he
said.

“We’re in a fragile global recovery. Canada is in a very
good position for the long term but we need to stay focused on
that and not screw around with a bunch of political games.”

With a minority of seats in the House of Commons, the
Conservatives need the support of at least some opposition
legislators to survive confidence measures such as budgets.

Harper said he would make minor changes to his cabinet
early in 2011 to resolve a gap left by the resignation in
November of his environment minister, Jim Prentice.

He did not say whether Finance Minister Jim Flaherty would
stay in his post, but he said the changes “won’t be extensive,”
suggesting a major overhaul was not in the plans.

The next federal budget will commit to eliminating the
deficit by 2015-16 through disciplined spending, without
resorting to wholesale cuts to key programs like health care or
education, Harper said. Budgets are usually presented in
February or March.

“We don’t need to have deep slash and burn … It’s not a
matter of dramatic, draconian cuts but it will be a matter of
discipline over some period,” Harper said.
(Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Peter Galloway)

Canada PM says won’t provoke election in early 2011