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Spring federal election closer to reality

Skeena Bulkely Valley NDP Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen.  - FILE PHOTO
Skeena Bulkely Valley NDP Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen.
— image credit: FILE PHOTO

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen says it's just a matter of time before a spring federal election is called, after taking a cursory look at the budget the government unveiled today.

We made...what we thought was a reasonable and practical offer to the government in the form of some budget requests, that if the government had met us, we could be avoiding an election,” the NDP MP said in a media scrum this afternoon.

It looks like almost for certain that we'll be headed into a campaign in the next 24 to 48 hours,” Cullen continued. “It's disappointing, because we thought some of the things we were putting forward were practical, and something really focussed on making things better for seniors, taking the HST off of home heating fuels, also establishing the retrofit program on a permanent basis and some other things.”

Cullen said a lot of what the NDP were looking for were in terms of creating jobs, the environment, and First Nations, but none of that was there. While money for the northwest transmission line did stay on the books, Cullen said in general, western Canada didn't really get much out of this government in this budget.

Overall, a net disappointment,” he said. “The subsidy to the tar sands still remain largely in place. A few small concessions, but for the folks I represent in the northwest this wasn't a budget that I was able to go back to them with and say it was worth supporting.”

He said if the government wants to redraft the budget, the NDP will be open to it.

But as it is now, I think an election is definitely on the way,” he said, adding that he'd be surprised if the government made it all the way to the end of the week or next Monday without an election being called.

Most people on the Hill now are just trying to decide, or figure out how it is the government's going to fall, not so much whether it's going to fall,” he said.

If that's the case, Cullen will be back on the campaign trail for the fourth time. He was first elected in 2004 and garnered nearly 50 per cent of the votes in the last two elections.

I'm very committed, there's still a lot to get done,” he said.

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