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The Globe and Mail

NDP Leader Horwath would rather negotiate on budget than force election

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath speaks at the Ontario NDP convention at the Hamilton Convention Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, Saturday, April 14, 2012.

SHERYL NADLER/THE CANADIAN PRESS

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she'd still rather try to negotiate with the Liberal government than force another election.

Horwath told the party's Hamilton convention she knows some people want her to reject the budget if the Liberals won't make changes, even if it means defeating the minority Liberals and forcing an election.

She says the NDP has made it clear that it wants a freeze on welfare rates lifted and a new surtax on incomes over 500-thousand dollars - and she says the ball is now in Premier Dalton McGuinty's court.

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The Liberals say the New Democrats are under heavy union pressure to force an expensive and unnecessary election.

But while some union leaders like Ontario Federation of Labour president Sid Ryan are pushing for an election over the public sector wage freeze, others are urging Horwath to keep talking with the Liberals.

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair will address the Ontario delegates before their convention wraps up today.

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