Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath
TORONTO - Some Ontario Liberal leadership candidates have made it their first priority to call up opposition leaders to see if there might be common ground to avoid a quick provincial election.
But NDP Leader Andrea Horwath - who kept the 2012 Liberal budget and Dalton McGuinty minority government alive - said Friday she is not pleased with last year's negotiations which saw the Grits allege publicly that she'd gone back on her word.
"The Liberals accused me of something I did not do," Horwath said. "I won't let that happen again."
Both Sandra Pupatello and Kathleen Wynne, the frontrunners going into a weekend Ontario Liberal leadership convention to replace the retiring McGuinty, have said they do not want an immediate election.
During the last spring budget process, the Tim Hudak PCs voted against the document while the NDP abstained.
Had the opposition ganged up to defeat the budget, the McGuinty minority would have fallen, triggering an election.
Horwath and McGuinty reached an agreement on the budget after the Liberals added some NDP proposals including ramped up spending on daycare and social assistance benefits, a freeze on planned corporate tax rate cuts and a tax on wealthy Ontarians.
But the McGuinty government cried foul when the NDP and Tory members of a committee began removing items from the budget.
McGuinty accused Horwath of reneging on a deal and threatened to call a snap election last summer.
Horwath said Friday that she was always clear that she reserved the right to go through the budget at committee.