Quebec Budget Passed As PQ Survives First Major Test Of Minority Government

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QUEBEC BUDGET PASSED
Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau and Quebec Premier Pauline Marois. The PQ minority government succeeded Friday in passing it's first budget. (CP) | CP

QUEBEC - Quebecers won't have to worry about going to the polls in another provincial election in January.

That's because Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau's 2013-14 budget survived by a vote of 49-48 in the national assembly on Friday.

PQ members supported it, but the Opposition Liberals and the Coalition party voted against it.

The two parties could have toppled the minority government had their combined 69 members rejected the budget, but the Liberals had previously stated they didn't want another election and that some of their members wouldn't turn up for the vote.

As a result, only 28 Liberals voted. They were joined by all 19 members of the Coalition party and one of the two members of the left-leaning Quebec solidaire.

Former Liberal finance minister Raymond Bachand pointed to a recent poll that suggested 65 per cent of Quebecers didn't want an election just a few months after last September's vote.

"I'll respect the will of Quebecers," he told reporters in Quebec City.

"Quebecers don't want an election on the fourth of January, the advance poll on New Year's Eve, with a leaders' debate before Christmas."

But Bachand warned that the Liberals are not letting the PQ government completely off the hook.

"We have other means to beat them when they continue destroying this economy, so there will be a rendezvous in history," he added.

"This government has chosen its course (and) it's a bad course, but you don't want an election every three months."

The PQ won 54 of the province's 125 ridings in the election, compared with 50 for the Liberals.

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