Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath holds press conference at Queens Park discussing the budget and the possibility of a summer election Friday June 15, 2012.
Credits: CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI AGENCY
"This morning I've reached out to the other two party leaders and asked them to meet with me, have a conversation with me, to contact me in any way they possibly can, to have a discussion to see how we can get to the passing of a budget on Wednesday," the New Democratic Party Leader said Saturday.
"(Friday) both (Premier Dalton) McGuinty and (Progressive Conservative Leader Tim) Hudak said they want an election. If they don't want an election and I don't want an election, then there's no reason to have an election."
Liberals immediately seized on Horwath's offer, calling it a "climb down" and saying it's an acknowledgment Horwath and the NDP know they pushed too hard on getting budget concessions from the minority government.
"This morning I think what we saw is that Ms. Horwath recognized some of the poor choices she and her party made last week," Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid said.
"We're pleased to hear that because it gives us an opportunity to move forward, provided Ms. Horwath and the NDP recognize the importance of respecting the original agreement that they made with the premier and with the government."
NDP officials denied Horwath was backing down but instead maintained she's merely doing what's necessary to pass the Liberal budget on Wednesday and avoid an unnecessary summer election.
Liberals were furious last week after the Progressive Conservatives unexpectedly backed several NDP budget amendments at the finance committee. The sudden changes "gutted" the budget, Liberals said, and effectively broke a deal the party had with the NDP.
The government had already put a wealth surtax and a corporate tax rate freeze into the budget to win NDP support.