Flip Flop? – PM changes his tone on running deficits

Harper and our money - we have none
Harper and our money - we have none

We warned you during the election that the numbers did not make sense. As with others in the past who promised no deficits it seems that Harper has retracted on what he said during the election. Flip-flop? We focused so much on the Green Shift that other issues were put to the side. Now we are stuck with this situation. Are Canadians prepared for deep cuts to funding? Show me the money!

With reports from Joe Friesen in Toronto and Ian Bailey in Vancouver

QUEBEC, TORONTO, OTTAWA — Stephen Harper refused yesterday to rule out the possibility of a deficit next year despite his promise during the election campaign that he would not allow one if re-elected.

While the Prime Minister said he intends to maintain a balanced budget this year, he did not say the same for 2009-10.

“I don’t think we’re in a position yet to know all the information in that regard,” Mr. Harper said in Quebec City, where Canada is hosting a summit of French-speaking governments. “It would be premature to speculate on that. I will just say that the Government of Canada will maintain responsible fiscal policies and the Government of Canada will ensure that whatever we do is in the long-run interests of the Canadian economy.”

The government will unveil an updated economic statement this fall. Should revenues be affected by economic turmoil after this year, the Tories would have to choose whether to run a deficit, cut spending or find other revenue sources such as increasing taxes.

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