[quote]OTTAWA — The minority Conservative government tabled a 2011 budget Tuesday that was quickly rejected by its political opponents for falling short in helping the middle class, setting the stage for an election campaign that could begin any day.
The leaders of the Liberals, Bloc Quebecois and NDP said they could not support the budget as presently written — even though Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tried to appease the left-wing party through a series of modest, symbolic initiatives.
“We’re forced to reject the budget and we are also forced to reject a government that shows so little respect for parliamentary democracy and our democratic institutions,” said Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal Leader.
Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Quebecois Leader, said his party “can’t support what has been offered here.”
And Jack Layton, head of the NDP and viewed as the person most likely to lend the government support, said the budget fell short of NDP expectations.
“Nothing in this budget has persuaded me that Mr harper has changed his ways and is prepared to work with others in parlement to give middle class families a break.”
Their rejection of the budget paves the way for Canada’s fourth federal election in seven years, probably in early May.[/quote]